The 2018 research suggested having around 4.9 million high and middle school students to be using tobacco. Although it is true that the number of adolescents smoking has substantially reduced, ethnic, regional and racial differences in smoking still exists. The white students in high school are likely to use tobacco more than their Hispanic or black peers. The rates of smoking tobacco are comparatively higher in southern, Midwestern regions and non-metropolitan areas of the country.
Products that adolescents use include pipes, cigars, cigarettes (hand rolled and store bought), smokeless tobacco, hookahs, and oral products that are new in the market like pouches, lozenges, e-cigarettes, sticks and strips.
- Tobacco cigarettes
Adult smokers nearly around 90% started smoking before the age of 18, and around 9.7% seniors smoked during month end. In the year 1997, the population of adolescents were up to 28% and was reduced to 5% in 2018.
- Smokeless tobacco
Use of this kind of product (e.g. – chewing tobacco, snuff etc) happens to be less common among adolescents than smoking of cigarette. As a matter of fact tobacco cigarettes are used by male and female population in the same number but smokeless tobacco are majorly used by only male. In the year 1995 the estimation of adolescents was around 12.2% and it reduced to 4.2% by the year 2018.
They are not being called any safer than other products and may even deliver toxic substances on a higher level. These water pipes can turn out to be quite addicting for adolescents. Usually provided in hookah lounges and can be done at homes too. As the hookah is smoked for a prolonged period the user can inhale up to 100 times the quantity of smoke, hence absorbing more toxic chemicals and nicotine. Around 24% of adolescents still believe hookah to be a less harmful product, however the estimation of the usage of this form of tobacco has reduced from 20% to 8%.
Electronic cigarettes are devices that are battery powered and work on it, designed to present flavour, nicotine, and other different chemicals. These products heat liquid nicotine besides other chemicals for production of aerosol which the user inhales. Various kinds of flavours like cinnamon, strawberry and chocolate are the basic cause for adolescents to get attracted to this type of smoking. Use of e-cigarettes among adolescents have become really common, mainly to vaporize harsh oil or liquid marijuana. This practice gives rise to the chances of damaging the brain development in its crucial year.
- Other oral products of tobacco
These newer forms include strips, pouches, snus, and lozenges and sticks also a reason for concern among the teenagers. Most of this are designed in a manner to be dissolved in the mouth of the user and comes in candy flavours. Nevertheless they do contain toxins which can lead one to cancer or other diseases for that matter. There is no reliable data found yet to suggest the number of adolescents using these oral products of tobacco.