Youth Smoking

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Fewer young Nebraskans are smoking and an anti-tobacco program is being credited with helping.

In 2001, 30.5-percent of Nebraskans under age 18 smoked. That declined to 24.1-percent in 2003.

Evaluators of the Tobacco Free Nebraska Program say it has helped reduce usage.

Each year the state-run program is assessed by ABT Associates and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

That latest findings show that 15,000 fewer Nebraskans who are protected from second-hand smoke at work increased from 65-percent in 2000 to 77-percent last year.

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Overview of Tobacco Use

  • Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, causing more than 400,000 deaths each year and resulting in an annual cost of more than $50 billion in direct medical costs.

  • Each year, smoking kills more people than AIDS, alcohol, drug abuse, car crashes, murders, suicides, and fires combined.

  • Nationally, smoking results in more than 5 million years of potential life lost each year.

  • Approximately 80 percent 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.

  • More than 5 million children living today will die prematurely because of a decision they will make as adolescents, the decision to smoke cigarettes.

  • Approximately 10 million people in the United States have died from smoking-attributable causes. Two million of those deaths, more than the population of Houston, have been from lung cancer alone.

  • American smokers have consumed 17 trillion cigarettes. If laid end to end, those cigarettes would cover 900 million miles (a distance long enough to circle the Earth and Jupiter in certain alignments) or circle the earth at the equator more than 36,000 times.

  • Almost two million Americans have not died from smoking-attributable diseases as a result of decisions they have made to not start or to discontinue smoking.

  • About 48 million American adults smoke, but approximately 42 million more would have smoked without smoking prevention activities.

    Source: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/overview/30yrs2t.htm (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).


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