Roughly 1 in 4 high school seniors smoke cigarettes, according to an unsettling new federal report
Smoking among young Americans has decreased in recent years, but still, 1,000 teens take up the habit each and every day. According to the first U.S. Surgeon General's office report on youth tobacco use since 1994, 80 percent of smokers are hooked before they're even old enough to buy a pack. "The numbers are really shocking," Surgeon General Regina Benjamin tells USA Today. "It's a problem we have to solve." Here, a look at America's teen smoking "epidemic," by the numbers:
Teens under 18 who tried their first cigarette on a typical day in 2008, the last year for which data is available
Number of those teens who go on to become daily smokers
Americans who die each day from smoking-related causes
U.S. teens who smoke cigarettes
1 in 3
Americans under 26 who smoke
Percentage of adult smokers who began smoking by age 18
Percentage of adult smokers who began smoking by age 26
More than $1 million
Money spent on the marketing and promotion of tobacco products per hour. That's more than $27 million each day.
Amount the tobacco industry spent on cigarette marketing in 2008, a 48 percent increase from a decade earlier
Cost in summer 2011 for a pack of cigarettes in West Virginia, the cheapest state
Cost in summer 2011 for a pack of cigarettes in New York, the most expensive state
1 in 5
Deaths in the United States attributed to tobacco use
Other stories from this topic:
- Fact Sheet: What is 'tobacco candy'?
- Best Column: 2-year-old smoker: Is Big Tobacco at fault?
- Instant Guide: Can secondhand smoke make you crazy?