Tobacco Use among the Youth

Tobacco Use among the Youth.


Smoking among the youth remains a health challenge affecting countries in the world despite the drastic measures that are being taken in an attempt to eliminate the use of tobacco products. 90 percent of chronic smokers among the smoking population has been found to have started their smoking while in their young stage of life between the age of 15 and 24 years as estimated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (Singh, 2016). A period of life when one is energetic and expected to be more industrious and innovative to give back to the community and contribute positively to the development of the economy at large Instead many have ended up being active smokers. Research has shown that smoking initiated at the tender age of early teenage are more likely to be regular and heavy smokers than those who initiated smoking at an older age. Many of the individuals have ended up suffering from side effects of smoking which are both short term and long term raising the need for health and wellness promotion, especially among the youth.

Cigarettes remain the most prevalent form of tobacco use in the United States although the use of other tobacco products such as cigars and smokeless tobacco is still common. Smokeless tobacco is consumed in two forms which are chewing tobacco and snuff tobacco which is inhaled into the nasal cavity. Some of the tobacco users use more than one product while others switch from one product to another. A major contributing factor to the rise of cigarette smoking among the youth populations has been attributed to tobacco and its products advertising campaigns (Corey et al., 2015). There have been concerns by the public health advocates on the appropriateness of the industry-sponsored youth smoking prevention programs and the extent to which they work to promote youth smoking. The common theme of the programs is smoking is an “adult choice” while youths will begin smoking as a result of peer pressure and lack of parent guidance.

On top of exposure to advertisements, some of the other factors that have been associated with high tobacco and products use among the youth include personality traits like low self-esteem and low-stress tolerance, social attributes such as having family members and friends who consume tobacco. Individuals who experienced traumatic events during their childhood have also been ranked to be more likely to initiate smoking in their young ages. On the aspect of gender, the male has been rated to be more likely to consume tobacco in their youthful ages.

Use of tobacco by the youths has a potential of causing serious and deadly health conditions over a short period of consumption and chronic conditions that come as a result of long-term consumption of tobacco. Tobacco use has been associated with both respiratory and non-respiratory diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, ear infection, allergies, bronchitis pneumonia and asthma. A report given by the Centre of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that more youths are likely to die early from smoke-related illnesses if smoking continues at the current rate among the youth (Johnson et al., 2014).

It is discouraging to see generation after generation continues to use tobacco despite the information and strategies put in place by the government to reach people and curb the menace. There is need to include substance use and abuse in the school curriculum. This enables the youth to learn about tobacco use and its effects. In the long haul, this can prevent their intentions of indulging in using of not only tobacco but other drugs that deter health. In these cases, the school interventions assist in inoculating students against influences that can get them to experimentation.

Another area of focus is on the warning labels and the plain packaging. This forms the first control initiative since it communicates directly and instantly to the user (Rockville). The newly implemented prominent graphics have born fruits and need to be continued with advancement to ensure there is the clear passage of the information to the target group. Pictorial warning labels lower smoking intensions especially among the adolescent smokers and non-smokers hence should be invested on greatly.

Besides, the price of cigarette can be increased further to prevent initiation. Despite the fact that the price may not be the determinant factor in the experimentation or initiation of tobacco use among the youths, it is clear that their maintenance and long-term use depend on the price. This is a critical area of control by the government since this group has financial restriction and their substance use is affected by the price.

With the youth forming the largest population that is mass media oriented and uses mass media for their entertainment, these platforms are essential avenues that can be utilized in passing information to the youths. Media channels such as the television, billboards, radio, and print can have the themes of health consequences of tobacco use, the dangers entailed in secondhand tobacco uses well as defaming and declining the social acceptance of tobacco use.

There is also need to develop smoke-free policies (Youth, E. C. U. A., & US Department of Health and Human Services, 2016). These will be guiding and curbing tobacco use or controlling the amount that people can access. The policies not need to be developed but also be implemented to ensure efficiency in operation.




Indeed, tobacco use is among the menace that needs intervention of the public health team. It is even of great concern with its use embedding the young population. This is usually facilitated by their experimental behavior. The experimentation and initiation of the tobacco use among the youth can them proceed due to addiction. This calls for various agencies to come up with strategies to control this ranging from coming up with smoke-free policies, use of mass media, increasing taxes and making the drugs expensive to prevent the youths from using them.




Corey, C. G., Ambrose, B. K., Apelberg, B. J., & King, B. A. (2015). Flavored tobacco product

use among middle and high school students—the United States, 2014. MMWR Morb

Mortal Wkly Rep, 64(38), 1066-1070.

Johnson, N. B., Hayes, L. D., Brown, K., Hoo, E. C., &Ethier, K. A. (2014). CDC National

Health Report: leading causes of morbidity and mortality and associated behavioral risk

and protective factors—United States, 2005–2013.

Rockville, M. D. Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults.

Singh, T. (2016). Tobacco use among middle and high school students—United States, 2011–

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Youth, E. C. U. A., & US Department of Health and Human Services. (2016). A Report of the

Surgeon General—Executive Summary. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and

Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for

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