Youth Tobacco Use in Boulder County
Youth continue to use tobacco at increasing rates. More than one in five students in Boulder County high schools (22.2%) report current use of tobacco (tobacco use on at least 1 day in the prior 30 days).
Of the 14.1% of surveyed high school students who were current cigarette users, 51.6% had tried to quit smoking during the 12 months prior to the survey.
New Tobacco Products Appeal to Youth
New products are emerging every day. Youth today face an ever-expanding range of items including:
- Little cigars, generally in packages of less than 20 and available in fruit and candy flavoring. These items often sell for less than $1.00.
- Chewing tobacco, displayed in brightly colored shelving next to candy and other treats.
- E-cigarettes, available in fruit and candy flavors, and often displayed next to convenience products such as chips and candy bars.
You Can Make a Difference
Despite the impact of movies, music, and TV, parents, still have the GREATEST INFLUENCE on their teens’ lives.
- Talk directly to your child about the risks of tobacco use. If friends or relatives have died from tobacco-related illness, tell them about it.
- Start the dialog about tobacco use at age 5 or 6 and continue through the high school years. Many kids start using tobacco by age 11, and many are addicted by age 14.
- Know if your kids’ friends use tobacco. Talk about ways to refuse tobacco.
- Discuss the glamorization of tobacco in the media.
- If you use tobacco, try to quit. Meanwhile, don’t use tobacco in your children’s presence, don’t offer it to them, and don’t leave it where they can easily get it.
- Let your friends and family know that you don’t want them to expose your children to secondhand smoke. Help your child practice asking adults to not smoke in cars, especially when kids are present.
- For example, suggest that they say, “Thanks for giving me a ride home from soccer practice. My mom and I have talked about smoking, and it would be great if you could not smoke in the car with me.”