Tobacco FAQ About Kids
a FAQ, you ask? Easy. FAQ is an acronym for Frequently
Asked Questions. "What's an acronym?" That's an easy one
too. An acronym is a word made from the first letters of a series of
words. In any case, if you've got a question, we've probably already
answered it. Check below for the answers to what's blocking your
How many kids and teenagers smoke?
More than one million kids will start smoking this year.
One-third of them will die from their addiction.
Lots of adults smoke and cigarettes aren't as dangerous as
drugs, so what's the big deal if teenagers are smoking occasionally?
About 90% of all new smokers are age 18 and younger. That's
because the tobacco industry markets to young people because they know that very few
adults will start smoking. Once a kid or teenager starts smoking, it's likely that they'll
become addicted without realizing it and then it's too late -- the tobacco companies have
a customer for life.
Advertising is legal and cigarettes are legal, so why does
everyone want tobacco advertising restricted?
A National Cancer Institute study found that teens are twice
as likely to be influenced by cigarette advertising than by peer pressure. The study
showed, in fact, that this advertising causes kids to start smoking! Eighty-six percent of
children who smoke prefer Marlboro, Camel and Newport, the three most heavily advertised
brands. After the Joe Camel cartoon was introduced, Camel's market share among underage
smokers jumped from 0.5 percent to 32.8 percent.
Kids and teenagers have always smoked and they always
will, so why worry about it?
A University of Michigan study released last year showed
smoking among teens has increased to the highest level in 16 years. The Centers for
Disease Control reports that between 1991 and 1995, the proportion of high-school students
who smoked increased from one-quarter to one-third. Today, nearly 40% of white high-school
females smoke and 44% of white high-school males use tobacco (cigarettes and spit
tobacco). Smoking is now increasing among young black males, with rates doubling between
1991 and 1995, going from 14.1 percent to 27.8 percent.
There's a lot of worse things that teenagers can do than
smoke. Aren't there other things young people should worry about before smoking?
Cigarettes kill more Americans than AIDS,
accidents, murders, suicides, drugs and fires -- combined! That doesn't mean that these
other killers should be ignored, but we ought to remember that cigarettes are deadly and
If you know someone addicted to alcohol, learn about
Lots of my friends smoke, but they can stop whenever they
want to -- it's not like they're addicted.
46 million adults in this country smoke and most of them want
to quit. The fact is, nearly all adult smokers began smoking as children. The average
smoker begins at age 13 and becomes a daily smoker by age 14-1/2. The problem is many kids
and teenagers are addicted and they don't even know it.
How much does the tobacco industry spend on advertising?
The cigarette companies spend $6 billion annually on
advertising and marketing campaigns to addict a new generation of customers. That's $16
million every day.
Do American adults really want the FDA to regulate
86% of Americans want their member of Congress to support the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration's proposal to decrease smoking in children. 54% of
American voters would be less likely to vote for their member of Congress if they learned
that he or she accepted campaign contributions from the tobacco companies.