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Tobacco Use for Teens and Young Adults

Tobacco Use

Smoking cigarettes causes many health problems. You can have more health problems if you start smoking at a young age. It is harder to quit if you smoke before age 21. Teens who smoke are more likely to use alcohol and illegal drugs.

Smoking harms almost every part of your body. It causes 87 percent of lung cancer deaths. It also causes a lot of other cancers and health problems. Some of these problems are lung disease, heart disease and stroke. Women who smoke have a greater chance of having problems when they are pregnant.

Smoking is also bad for people who don’t smoke (also known as secondhand smoke). Secondhand smoke can cause many of the same problems for non-smokers.

The problem is not just cigarettes. Spit tobacco and cigars are not safe either. Many people who chew tobacco or dip snuff think it's safer than smoking.

Chewing or dipping can cause:

  • Mouth cancer
  • Teeth to decay
  • Gums to pull away from the teeth
  • White patches or red sores in the mouth that can turn to cancer

Smokeless tobacco may also harm other parts of the body. It might play a role in other cancers, heart disease and stroke.

You lower your risk of these problems when you quit. The earlier you quit, the better. Pick a quit date and make a plan. It can help you stop for good.1-3

More information on how to quit smoking/tobacco use.


Material Adapted from MedlinePlus
1. Smokeless tobacco. (2015, Aug 31).
2. Smoking. (2015, Aug 31)
3. Smoking and youth. (2015, Aug 31).