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Over 480,000 people die in the USA
each year from smoking. Tobacco kills as many Americans as in all
our wars combined. Over 1,000,000 people. Tobacco kills that
many in a little over 2 years.
Each year, smoking kills more people than AIDS, alcohol, drug abuse,
car crashes, murders, suicides, and fires---combined!
Nationwide 20.5% of men and 15.8% of
women smoke. 24.7% of adults with less than a high school education
smoke compared to only 6% of adults with a college graduate degree smoke. 17% at or above the poverty level smoke compared to
27.9% below the
poverty level. View Document
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".
The 2010 Kentucky youth tobacco survey evaluated
middle school children and showed a 40% decline in smoking and a 29%
decline in overall tobacco use between the years of 2002 and 2019.
However, 17% of middle school children still used tobacco products and
nine percent still smoked. In addition 48% of middle school children who
are non-smokers are exposed to secondhand smoke. In Kentucky, 37% of
high school students use tobacco products, 27% smoke and 17% use
smokeless tobacco. Thus, 63% of childhood smokers started in or before