The U.S. Surgeon General’s office released its first report on youth smoking since 1994. The Surgeon General’s report finds that youth smoking has reached epidemic proportions, resulting in addiction that will last a lifetime.
Almost one in five high school students smokes in the United States. This is down from previous years, but the rate of decline has slowed. Because few high school smokers are able to quit, about 80 percent will continue to smoke cigarettes as adults, leading to addiction.
“Today, more than 600,000 middle school students and 3 million high school students smoke. We don’t want our children to start something now that they won’t be able to change later in life,” said Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin.
Benjamin does not want to point blame, but rather wants to focus on education and prevention.