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Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, causing more than 430,000 deaths each year.
Each year, smoking kills more people than AIDS, alcohol, drug abuse,
car crashes, murders, suicides, and fires---combined!
Tobacco kills as many Americans as in
all our wars combined. Over 1,000,000,000 people. Tobacco
kills that many every 3 years -- Source USMC National Health Naval
Research Center - San Diego, CA.
Smokers are hooked when they
are children !!!
Approximately 80% of adult smokers started smoking before the age of 18. Every day,
nearly 3,000 young people under the age of 18 become regular smokers.
Among adults in the United States who have ever smoked
daily, 91.3% tried their first cigarette and 77.0% became daily smokers
before age 20 years (2). Among high school seniors who had ever tried
smokeless tobacco (SLT), 73% did so by the ninth grade (2).
Cigarette usage in Kentucky is well established by the 8th grade (3).
A survey of 20 life-time smokers at Somerset High School in 2002 showed the
average grade of starting smoking is 8.8.
CDC. The health consequences of smoking: Nicotine
addiction -- a report by the Surgeon General. Rockville, Maryland: US
Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, CDC,
1988; DHHS publication no. (CDC)88-8406.
US Department of Health and Human Services.
Preventing tobacco use among young people: a report by the Surgeon
General. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public
Health Service, CDC, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention
and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 1994.
Children will imitate their piers and role models.
If they see a teacher or sports figure smoking, they will be motivated
to smoke. Thus, keeping children from not smoking can largely be
achieved by presenting to them community models of not smoking.
This is called the "Paradigm Shift" theory of smoking prevention.
As one child said to me after a non-smoking school presentation
"If smoking is really that bad for you wouldn't it be illegal".
In Kentucky, 22% of middle school and 37% of high
school students currently use cigarettes (one or more in the past 30
days) compared to the national average of 9% and 29%, respectively.
Overall, 32% of Kentucky middle school student smokers and 47% of
Kentucky high school smokers reported needing a cigarette every day.
Kentucky Youth Tobacco Survey 2000, Kentucky Epidemiologic Notes &
Reports: Vol 37, No 2, March 2002.
Kentucky has a Very High Rate
Of Smoking !!!
CDC Morbidity and Mortality Report:
November 7, 1997:
The median prevalence of current adult
smoking was 23.5 percent with state-specific prevalence ranging from
15.9 percent (Utah) to 31.5 percent (Kentucky).
Approximately one-third to one-half of adults who currently smoke have
children living in the home, and the majority (70 percent) allow smoking
in some or all areas of the home.
The estimated number of children exposed to ETS (environmental tobacco
smoke) in the home ranged from
32,105 (Delaware) to 1,120,051 (New York).
The following is from a survey of 46
Somerset, KY High School Students:
Lifetime Tobacco Users
Current Tobacco Users
The following terms are defined by the CDC:
Lifetime Smoker: Ever smoked even
if just one puff.
Current User: Smoked in last 30
Frequent User: Smoked 20 or more
cigarettes in last 30 days.
Established User: Smoked more than
100 cigarettes in their lifetime.