Most smokers started when they were teens. Those who have friends and/or parents who smoke are more likely to start smoking than those who don’t. Some teens say that they “just wanted to try it,” or they thought it was “cool” to smoke.
The tobacco industry’s ads, price breaks, and other promotions for its products are a big influence in our society. The tobacco industry spends billions of dollars each year to create and market ads that show smoking as exciting, glamorous, and safe. Tobacco use is also shown in video games, online, and on TV. And movies showing smokers are another big influence. Studies show that young people who see smoking in movies are more likely to start smoking.
A newer influence on tobacco use is the e-cigarette and other high-tech, fashionable electronic “vaping” devices. Often seen as harmless, and easier to get and use than traditional tobacco products, these devices are a great way for new users to learn how to inhale and become addicted to nicotine, which can prepare them for smoking.
Who Smoks Cigarette
Cigarette smoking first became a mass phenomenon in the United Kingdom and other more affluent countries in the early 20th century after the introduction of cheap, mass produced, manufactured cigarettes. Typically, a “smoking epidemic” in a population develops in four stages: a rise and then decline in smoking prevalence, followed two to three decades later by a similar trend in smoking related diseases. Usually, the uptake and consequent adverse effects of smoking occur earlier and to a greater degree among men.
In the United Kingdom there are about 13 million smokers, and worldwide an estimated 1.2 billion. Half of these smokers will die prematurely of a disease caused by their smoking, losing an average of eight years of life; this currently represents four million smokers each year worldwide. Deaths from smoking are projected to increase to more than 10 million a year by 2030, by which time 70% of deaths will be in developing countries.