Kids and Smoking
Most of today's adult tobacco users started before they were 18 years old. Youth tobacco use in any form, whether smoked, smokeless or electronic, is not safe. Today, electronic cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product in youth.
We have taken steps to reduce youth tobacco use, but it is still a big problem. All tobacco products, including most e-cigarettes, contain nicotine. Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm brain development in youth. People who start using tobacco at an early age are more likely to develop an addiction than those who start at a later age.
Why Do Kids Start Using Tobacco?
Parents, social pressure, advertising, stigma—there are different reasons a young person might try tobacco. Learn the reasons why some kids start and how to help them be tobacco-free.
How to Keep Kids Tobacco-Free
Keeping youth from starting is critical and they need your help. Youth tobacco use can be prevented by families, schools, communities and policymakers joining together. For example:
- Parents can set a good example for their kids by not using tobacco and keeping their homes tobacco-free.
- Schools can provide tobacco prevention programs to educate students about the dangers of tobacco and tobacco cessation programs to help young people.
- States can pass legislation to increase taxes on tobacco products, pass and implement comprehensive smokefree indoor air laws, and limit minors' access to tobacco products through raising the age of purchase and restricting flavors.
Tips for Parents
See how you can talk to your kids about smoking and call 1-800-LUNGUSA to talk to a specialist at our Lung HelpLine.
E-cigarettes, "Vapes" and JUULs: What Parents Should Know [PDF]Download
E-Cigarettes, "Vapes" and JUULs: What Schools Should Know [PDF]Download
E-Cigarettes, "Vapes" and JUULs: What Teens Should Know [PDF]Download
Page Last Updated: February 14, 2019