World No Tobacco Day Tobacco Use Stats and Resources

tobacco use, teen smoking, smoking resources, world no tobacco day, smoking stats
Posted on

World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) is an annual global awareness campaign by the World Health Organization (WHO) that occurs on May 31st. It is dedicated to increasing awareness about tobacco use in youth, tobacco use risk factors, and the multitude of marketing efforts from tobacco companies to increase tobacco use amongst young people.

Pride Surveys consistently conducts middle and high school surveys and works with our community coalition partners to provide up-to-date statistics about the prevalence of tobacco use amongst 6th to 12th-grade students. The positive news is that based on our data over a five-year period cigarette use has declined; the flip side is that vaporizer/e-cigarette use has shown a significant uptick. The correlation? The tobacco industry is continuously innovating and finding new ways to deliver messaging and products to youth and gain profit even though tobacco use is causing health issues for a large part of the population. One example is the purchase of a large stake in vaping industry pioneer, Juul, by tobacco giant Altria, maker of Marlboro Cigarettes.

Pride Surveys Tobacco Use Data

smoking tobacco use cigarette use

Pride Surveys 2014-2019 Tobacco Use Student Survey Results

Over a five-year period, 6th to 12th-grade students were asked: “Have you smoked all or part of a cigarette in the last 30 days?” The data from the combination of all grades decreased year over year from 8.6% in 2014-15 to 4.6% from 2018-19, a 4% decrease overall, while there was a significant increase in use by grade level, rising from 6th to 12th consistently for use over the past 30 days.

tobacco use smoking

When analyzing the results from the question “In the past year, have you used tobacco (cigarettes, cigars, dip, etc.)”, the results show an overall decrease in use with a 2.9% drop between 2014-15’s 14.6% and 2018-19’s 11.7%. There were still significant increases in use by grade level, rising from 6th to 12th grade.

tobacco use smoking

What is Tobacco?

The National Cancer Institute defines tobacco as “A plant with leaves that have high levels of the addictive chemical nicotine. Cured tobacco leaves and the products made from them contain many cancer-causing chemicals, and tobacco use and exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke have been strongly linked to many types of cancer and other diseases.”

Different Types of Tobacco Use Devices

Tobacco comes in a vast number of different forms, from types you can smoke to sniff to chew. It can be smoked by cigarette, e-cigarette/vape, pipe, cigar, bidis, kreteks, or hookahs. Tobacco products that are chewed commonly consist of dip, snuff, chewing tobacco, and snus. While the FDA changed the federal minimum age of tobacco product sales from 18 to 21, it is vital for community coalitions and parents to be aware that tobacco products can still be given to and obtained by youth under this age.

Tobacco Use Implications

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is a multitude of health issues that tobacco use can cause. Smoking causes heart disease, cancer, lung diseases, diabetes, strokes, and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Additionally, smoking can negatively impact all organs and increases the risk of other immune system issues and illnesses. All of these hazards are critical for community coalitions and parents to share with children.

Community Coalition and Parent Resources

From advice about being mindful of the movies, TV shows, and music children watch and listen to, to having conversations with children before they start smoking or any tobacco use, the American Cancer Society is an excellent resource and guide for parents and community coalitions. has a full section of its website dedicated to teens’ resources, including tools and tips to quit smoking, including how to manage the potential impacts on your social life and live online chats that are accessible right away.

The American Lung Association is also a helpful resource for educating teens and having conversations with them. One program they offer is the Not On Tobacco® (N-O-T) voluntary quit program to help teenagers ages 14-19.

The more we continue to share resources and data amongst Pride Surveys and our community coalition partners, the more we can work together to stop the prevalence of smoking and tobacco use. Pride Surveys can discuss the appropriate school survey questions if you want to conduct a tobacco use survey in your community. Contact us today to learn more.


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)