Children and Tobacco: The Facts

Facts on Nicotine and Nicotine Addiction in Children

Tobacco products contain nicotine, an addictive drug. In order to prevent the deadly effects of nicotine addiction, early intervention and prevention is needed. Prolonged exposure to chemicals such as those in cigarettes can lead to forms of cancer such as lung cancer or mesothelioma.

"What is most significant about teens and smoking, however, is that, from all indications, smoking is an addiction that is typically initiated during the teenage years or not at all. For the great majority of smokers, this addiction begins before they are old enough to purchase tobacco lawfully . . . If youth access can be controlled effectively, and the decision whether to smoke can be delayed until adulthood, then, over time, smoking will be greatly reduced as a major addiction in our society."
-- "No Sale: Youth, Tobacco and Responsible Retailing," Working Group of State Attorneys General, December 1994.


1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Preventing Tobacco Use Among Young People: A Report of the Surgeon General, 1994; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, The Health Consequences of Smoking: Nicotine Addiction: A Report of the Surgeon General, 1988; Institute of Medicine, Growing Up Tobacco Free, 1994; Journal of the American Medical Association, July 19, 1995.

2. Preventing Tobacco Use Among Young People: A Report of the Surgeon General, 1994.

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