Today, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) released a statement on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) new report about youth smoking. The report indicates that though tobacco use continued an 11-year downward trend, tobacco use remains high among high school students and, among some groups, other forms of tobacco use beyond cigarettes actually increased. According to the report, nearly 30 percent of high school males and 18 percent of high school females and more than 8 percent of middle school males and nearly 6 percent of middle school females used some form of tobacco in 2011.
"Today, the CDC has released new evidence that proves we must redouble our efforts against big tobacco. Declines in cigarette smoking among our youth are only buffered by increases in other forms of tobacco use -- like flavored cigars," Blumenthal said. "Incredibly, the tobacco industry continues to seek profits by addicting youth through targeted marketing campaigns -- luring them into a lifetime of costly nicotine addiction. The tobacco industry also uses new flavors and invents new products to appeal directly to our youngest citizens. Nearly 4,000 kids under age 18 try their first cigarette every day. We must continue the fight to reduce youth tobacco use. I look forward to continuing to work to ensure that young people in Connecticut and across the country stay tobacco-free."
Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States. Cigarette use and exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke kill an estimated 443,000 Americans each year. The health consequences of tobacco use include heart disease, multiple types of cancer, lung disease, adverse reproductive effects, and the worsening of chronic health conditions. In addition to the cost in human lives, cigarette smoking has been estimated to cost $193 billion annually in direct health care expenses and lost productivity. To read more about the report, go to the following link: http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2012/p0809_youth_tobacco.html.