Teens and Tobacco: Key Facts

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Here are five things you need to know about teens and tobacco use.

Girl Smoking Cigarette - Teen Rehab

Prime Years

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Teenage years are when most people develop an addiction to nicotine. Whether due to peer pressure, curiosity or another driver, nearly half of all middle schoolers will try a tobacco product.

Brain Development

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Nicotine can alter a teen’s brain development. The brain undergoes critical development during the teenage years and nicotine can have a negative impact on the way the brain develops. Other chemicals in cigarettes can also negatively affect the brain and brain development—more so than nicotine.

Vapors and Smokeless Cigarettes

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E-cigarettes are the most common nicotine product among teens, and while there is no smoke or combustion involved, nicotine is still absorbed into the body through the vapors and can affect your teen’s health.

Secondhand Smoke

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Secondhand smoke—inhaling the smoke from another person’s cigarette—can be just as dangerous as smoking a cigarette yourself. Exposure to secondhand smoke can cause health problems, including heart disease, lung cancer and lung problems.

Overcoming Addiction

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There are treatments for people wanting to quit smoking. Many at-home treatments exist, but a person looking for a recovery program should consult their physician for the best individualized plan.