People smoking tobacco
Most smokers started when they were teens. Those who have friends and/or parents who smoke are more likely to start smoking than those who don’t. Some teens say that they “just wanted to try it, ” or they thought it was “cool” to smoke.
The tobacco industry’s ads, price breaks, and other promotions for its products are a big influence in our society. The tobacco industry spends billions of dollars each year to create and market ads that show smoking as exciting, glamorous, and safe. Tobacco use is also shown in video games, online, and on TV. And movies showing smokers are another big influence. Studies show that young people who see smoking in movies are more likely to start smoking.
A newer influence on tobacco use is the e-cigarette and other high-tech, fashionable electronic “vaping” devices. Often seen as harmless, and easier to get and use than traditional tobacco products, these devices are a great way for new users to learn how to inhale and become addicted to nicotine, which can prepare them for smoking.
Who is most likely to become addicted?
Anyone who starts using tobacco can become addicted to nicotine. Studies show that smoking is most likely to become a habit during the teen years. The younger you are when you begin to smoke, the more likely you are to become addicted to nicotine.
According to the 2014 Surgeon General’s Report, (SGR) nearly 9 out of 10 adult smokers started before age 18, and nearly all started by age 26. The report estimates that about 3 out of 4 high school smokers will become adult smokers – even if they intend to quit in a few years.
According to the 2012 Surgeon General’s Report
“Of every 3 young smokers, only 1 will quit, and 1 of those remaining smokers will die from tobacco-related causes. Most of these young people never considered the long-term health consequences associated with tobacco use when they started smoking; and nicotine, a highly addictive drug, causes many to continue smoking well into adulthood, often with deadly consequences.”
Addiction is marked by the repeated, compulsive seeking or use of a substance despite its harmful effects and unwanted consequences. Addiction is mental or emotional dependence on a substance. Nicotine is the known addictive substance in tobacco. Regular use of tobacco products leads to addiction in many users. Nicotine is a drug that occurs naturally in tobacco and it’s thought to be as addictive as heroin or cocaine.