Tobacco Use in Children and Teens

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Tobacco Use in Children and Teens

Children and teens who smoke cigarettes are more likely to smoke other tobacco containing products, like e-cigarettes and hookahs, according to a new study in Pediatrics.

Researchers analyzed data from about 25,000 students between the ages of 9 and 18 who were a part of the 2012 National Youth Tobacco Survey. They found that almost 15 percent of participants used at least one form of tobacco products, and 3 percent used cigarettes in combination with another form of tobacco. A majority of these users were boys who enjoyed using flavored tobacco products. Often these boys were using the products in a group setting.

This brings up the issue of advertising flavored tobacco towards the younger population. Giving tobacco flavors like cookie dough, vanilla, and watermelon makes the product sound appealing to children. The FDA already has a ban of advertising cigarettes and e-cigarettes towards children, but there are still no regulations on other flavored tobacco products. Researchers from this study are suggesting that policymakers should look more into this issue to reduce and prevent further use of tobacco products.