Youth cigarette use declined sharply during 1997–2003. Since that time, rates have declined far more slowly.
Each day in the United States, approximately 3,800 young people under 18 years of age smoke their first cigarette, and an estimated 1,000 youth in that age group become daily cigarette smokers.
Some factors associated with youth tobacco use include the following:
- Low socioeconomic status
- Use and approval of tobacco use by peers or siblings
- Exposure to smoking in movies
- Lack of skills to resist influences to tobacco use
- Smoking by parents or guardians and/or lack of parental support or involvement
- Accessibility, availability, and price of tobacco products
- A perception that tobacco use is the norm
- Low levels of academic achievement
- Low self-image or self-esteem
- Exposure to tobacco advertising
- Aggressive behavior (e.g., fighting, carrying weapons)