Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disability in the United States. The majority of daily smokers began smoking before 18 years of age and more than 4,000 young persons begin smoking each day. This is nearly 1.5 million young persons per year.
In Georgia, approximately 19,000 middle and 72,000 high school students smoke cigarettes. This is important because most current smokers became addicted to tobacco products during their adolescent years. In addition to home environments, school and workplace programs designed to prevent tobacco use could become one of the most effective strategies available to reduce tobacco use in the U.S.
Nicotine addiction is so powerful that every day approximately 1,000 teenagers become daily smokers. By experimenting with tobacco, young persons place themselves at risk for nicotine addiction and the devastating health and economic risks caused by tobacco product use.