Tobacco use in children

Apurva Shrigiriwar
Tobacco use in children 20 Apr, 2019

In recent years, the consumption of tobacco has become a pediatric epidemic. As stated by the World Health Organization, every day almost 82 000 to 99 000 children and adolescents begin smoking worldwide. In India, about 5500 children between the ages of 10–14 years begin smoking tobacco each day. A survey conducted in 2015 on high school students in the US showed that 16% students consumed tobacco in the form of electronic cigarettes, 9.3% students used traditional cigarettes, 8.6% students used cigars and about 7.2% students used hookah. Electronic cigarettes were developed to promote smoking cessation in individuals who were trying to quit tobacco use. However, electronic cigarettes have recently become popular in the youth because of their easy availability, different flavor options and a notion that these cigarettes are safer than the traditional cigarettes. Studies have shown that people who start smoking at an early age are more likely to develop a severe addiction to tobacco than those who start at a later age. Thus, increased consumption of tobacco by children has become a global concern.

Cigarette smoking is the most common preventable cause of death in developed countries. Nearly one in five deaths in the United States is due to cigarette smoking. Tobacco smoke consists of more than 7000 chemical compounds which are responsible for the development of numerous cancers. These chemicals can cause harm to all parts of the human body. Nicotine in tobacco smoke acts on the brain and causes stimulation of the pleasure center and is thus responsible for the addictive properties of tobacco. Smoking tobacco increases the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke by 2 to 4 times. Smoking also increases the risk of developing lung cancers by more than 25 times in men and women. Furthermore, smoking increases absenteeism from schools and increases health care expenditure.

In the US, to keep illegal use of tobacco in check, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has reprimanded major convenience stores and gas station chains for selling tobacco products to minors. Legislative measures along with the proper education of minors and their parents can help to prevent this epidemic from becoming a pandemic.

ask a doctor
Ask a Doctor
Disclaimer: The information given by is provided by medical and paramedical & Health providers voluntarily for display & is meant only for informational purpose. The site does not guarantee the accuracy or authenticity of the information. Use of any information is solely at the user's own risk. The appearance of advertisement or product information in the various section in the website does not constitute an endorsement or approval by Pediatric Oncall of the quality or value of the said product or of claims made by its manufacturer.
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0