Smoking Habits Start Young and Die Hard
- Almost 90% of adult smokers begin their habits at or before age 18, making kids an essential market for tobacco advertisers.
- Each year in Washington, 24,000 teenagers become new daily smokers.
- Youth smoking is on the rise at all age levels. In Washington, 5% of 6th graders, 15% of 8th graders, 25% of 10th graders, and 29% of 12th graders smoke. There was a 38% increase from 1990 to 1998 in the total number of high school seniors who smoke statewide.
- Smoking among black teens in the U.S. increased by 80% between 1991 and 1997.
- While many youth are optimistic about quitting, studies have shown that ¾ of youth who try to quit are unsuccessful.
The Tobacco Industry Aims to Hook Susceptible Youth Early
- Bennett LeBow, owner of Liggett Tobacco, admits: “If you are really and truly not going to sell to children, you are going to be out of business in 30 years.”
- Almost 80% of American kids are exposed to persuasive tobacco marketing over 17 times every year.