Your Child & Tobacco: What parents need to know.

Did you know?

  • 60% of all smokers start by age 14.

  • 90% of teen smokers are addicted by age 19.

  • Teen smokers are 3x more likely than non-smokers to drink alcohol.

  • If a teen reaches age 19 without smoking, there is a 90% chance he/ She will never smoke.

Tobacco: A nicotine delivery system
Nicotine is the active drug in tobacco and is considered one of the most addictive substances in use today. It is found in cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco and snuff. Cigarettes are considered a "gateway" drug; their addictive properties can open the door to using other addictive substances. 

Most teens who smoke are addicted to nicotine. They want to quit smoking, but they can't. Nicotine is as addictive as heroin or cocaine.

What are the risks? Tobacco products contain more tan 4000 chemicals, including 200 know poisons and carcinogens such as carbon monoxide. Health risks include frequent colds, coughs, gum disease, ulcer, chronic bronchitis, cancer of the mouth, larynx, pharynx, esophagus, lungs, pancreas, cervix, uterus, and bladder. Because nicotine constricts blood vessels and decreases blood supply, cigarette smoking is also linked to heart attack, stroke, and sexual dysfunction in men