Tobacco products are known by various names including Cigs, Smokes, & Squares.
Cigarettes remain one of the most popular forms of tobacco use to date. In addition to tobacco cigarettes contain dangerous additives, 60 of which are known to cause cancer. Fortunately, cigarette smoking is decreasing among middle and high schoolers according to the CDC. The pungent smell and public awareness of smoking have made it less appealing to teens.
Chew, spit tobacco, or other smokeless tobacco products are easier to hide and are less smelly than cigarettes. Unfortunately, nicotine is just as addicting and chew tobacco may present an accidental poisoning risk for children. While smokeless tobacco may come in appealing flavors, the substance is so strong that addiction may form after a single use. Addiction to smokeless tobacco can lead to receding gums, tooth loss, and a variety of oral and throat cancers.
Known also as water pipes, this form of tobacco can also come in flavors appealing to teens. The concept of using water may trick users into thinking this method is safer. While this method is not too popular with middle and high schoolers, college students are reportedly unaware of the dangers of hookah use. This low negative perception should be addressed early on to protect young people from the exact same harmful effects as cigarette smoking, such as lung, bladder, and oral cancers and heart disease. In addition, users tend to spend a long time using a hookah (1-2 hours) vs. a cigarette (11 minutes), inhaling more nicotine, and increasing the likelihood of addiction.
While a cigarette is a blend of multiple types of tobacco, a cigar is a single type of fermented tobacco. A Monitoring the Future study found that roughly 10 percent of teens in grades 9-12 had smoked a cigar — the same percentage as those who have smoked a cigarette. Due to the fermentation process, cigars have more toxins than a cigarette and are unfiltered, making them even more dangerous than traditional smoking.
Have a conversation with your teens about tobacco. When talking, remain calm and keep an open mind to create an honest dialogue with your kids. Refrain from harsh judgment, but aim to promote awareness of the following:
Data and statistics obtained for this website come from trusted sources such as the CDC and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. For more information, please contact us.