Facts with Hope
FACT: In 2011, the prevalence of current tobacco use (all forms) among middle school was 7.1% and among high school students was 23.2%. Because most are not able to break free from the powerful, addicting effects of nicotine, about three out of four will continue to use tobacco in adulthood. In addition, one third of those will die about 13 years earlier than their nonsmoking peers.1
HOPE: You can help teens and young adults say NO to tobacco. The 2012 Surgeon General's Report on Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults is a 20-page, easy-to-read illustrated booklet designed to help parents, teachers, policy makers, health care professionals, and other concerned adults understand how they can take a stand to protect young people from the devastating effects of tobacco use. Download a copy at http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sgr/2012/consumer_booklet/index.htm.
FACT: Although depictions of tobacco use in movies had declined, it has rebounded in recent years. In 2012, there were a total of 2,818 tobacco incidents in top-grossing movies, compared to 1,880 in 2011 and 1,819 in 2010, when the total number of incidents reached its lowest level since 2002. This included 1,155 tobacco incidents in PG-13 movies, which are easily accessible to youth.2
HOPE: In 2012, the Surgeon General concluded that there is a causal relationship between depictions of smoking in the movies and smoking initiation among young people. Youth who are heavily exposed to onscreen smoking are approximately 2 to 3 times as likely to begin smoking as youth who are lightly exposed. This may be one reason that God, in His wisdom, told us to focus our minds on “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable” (Philippians 4:8, NIV).
FACT: Snus (rhymes with “goose”) is often promoted as a safer tobacco product because the pasteurization process limits some of its toxins and carcinogens. Tobacco companies even claim that snus can help smokers quit. However, snus is as addictive as any other form of tobacco. And research shows that snus is linked to mouth sores, dental cavities, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and a higher risk of pancreatic cancer.
HOPE: Health experts agree that, while snus may not be as deadly as cigarettes, its use still poses a significant risk to your health. The bottom line is that there is no safe form of tobacco use.3
FACT: There could be 3 million fewer young smokers today if success in reducing youth tobacco use that was made between 1997 and 2003 had been sustained. Rates of smokeless tobacco use are also no longer declining, and they appear to be increasing among some groups.4
HOPE: For more than a century, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has warned its youth and the general public regarding the addictive and health destroying nature of tobacco smoking. Talk to your pastor or health ministries leader today about how your church can make a difference in the area of youth and tobacco.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). Current tobacco use among middle and high school students -- United States, 2011. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 61(31), 581-585.
- McAfee, T. & Tynan, M. (2012). Smoking in movies: A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention core surveillance indicator. Preventing Chronic Disease 9(November 8, 2012). doi: 10.5888/pcd9.120261
- DeNoon, D. J. (n.d.). Snus smokeless tobacco: Less harmful than cigarettes, but not safe. WebMD – Smoking Cessation Health Center. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/smoking-cessation/features/snus-tobacco-health-risks
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2012). Fact sheet: Preventing tobacco use among youth and young adults. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/preventing-youth-tobacco-use/factsheet.html