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Tobacco and youth


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  • 1. Tobacco and Youth
  • 2. Trends in Youth Smoking
  • 3. Trends in Youth Smoking: Gender
  • 4. Trends in Youth Smoking: Race/Ethnicity
    % of High school students who reported current cigarette use, YRBS
  • 5. State Specific Rates of Youth Smoking
    Source: Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 2004.
  • 6. More Sobering Statistics
    4,000 youth under the age of 18 try smoking for the first time each day
    1,000 youth under the age of 18 becomes regular, daily smokers each day
    13.6% (2.2%) of high school males (females) use smokeless tobacco
    800 million packs of cigarettes are consumed by youth each year ($2.0 billion in sales revenue)
  • 7. Why Do We Care about Youth and Tobacco Use?
    Inability to make accurate assessments of short-run benefits vs. long-term costs
    Youth who smoke are at greater risk of drinking and/or using illegal drugs
    Risk of becoming addicted quite high
    Maximizing life-time exposure to tobacco
    90% of new smokers are youth
    Youth who smoke are less fit and have more lung-related illnesses than their peers who do not smoke
  • 8. More Smoking Statistics
    If smoking rates do not change, 6+ million children alive today will die from a smoking related illness later in their life
    Taxpayers yearly fed/state burden for smoking-related government health care spending is $630/household/yr
  • 9. How do adolescents get their cigarettes?
  • 10. Factors that Contribute to Youth Smoking Rates: Advertising
    Tobacco companies spend 15.4 billion dollars each year on advertising in ways to try to attract adolescent smokers. Why?
    Promotion of brands
    Initiation of new smokers
    Types of advertisements, historically
    Television (until 1971)
    Magazines (limited by tobacco settlement)
    Bill Boards (eliminated by tobacco settlement)
    Point of Sale
    Product placement in movies
    Free give-aways (eliminated by tobacco settlement)
    Sponsorship of sporting events
  • 11.
  • 12. What are these ads communicating?
    How to be “cool”
    How to be popular
    How to have fun
  • 13. Government Attempts to Reduce the Risk of Youth Smoking?
    Tobacco settlement
    Elimination of advertising in youth magazines
    Selective elimination of advertising in school library editions of Time, Newsweek, People and Sports Illustrated (2005)
    Anti-smoking advertisements (industry ads may spark curiosity)
    ID verification for purchasing cigarettes (“carding”)
    Increasing the sales tax on tobacco products
    Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009
  • 14. Recall, the FDA now has the authority to…
    Restrict tobacco advertising and promotions (esp. to children)
    Stop illegal sales of tobacco products to children (internet)
    Ban candy-flavored cigarettes
    Require changes in tobacco products such as reducing the nicotine levels
    Prohibit health claims such as “reduced risk” products
    Require tobacco companies to disclose the contents of tobacco products
    Require larger, more informative health warnings
    Prohibit terms such as “light,” “mild,” or “low tar.”
  • 15. Summing up…
    If we want to bring health care costs and improve American’s health we must tackle tobacco use
    First and foremost, its use by youth
    New federal regulations
    Restrict choice
    Have the potential to infer considerable benefits if they translate into reduced smoking