Smoking cigarettes has many health risks for everyone. However, the younger you are when you start smoking, the more problems it can cause. People who start smoking before the age of 21 have the hardest time quitting. Teens who smoke are also more likely to use alcohol and illegal drugs.
Young people who do not start using tobacco by age 18 will most likely never start.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Prevention and Risk Factors
- Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Surgeon General) - PDF
- Teen Smoking (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
- Youth and Tobacco (Food and Drug Administration)
- Path to Smoking Addiction Starts at Very Young Ages (Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids) - PDF
- Tobacco Harm to Kids (Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids) - PDF
Statistics and Research
- Frequency of Tobacco Use Among Middle and High School Students -- United States, 2014 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- State Estimates of Adolescent Cigarette Use and Perceptions of Risk of Smoking: 2012 and 2013 (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) - PDF
- Youth and Tobacco Use (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Smoking and Youth (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- How Lungs Work (American Lung Association)