Did you know that 90% of people who smoke start before the age of 18? Studies show that because the teen brain is still developing, youth are more vulnerable to nicotine addiction. Tobacco companies know this, and have a long history of targeting youth to get a new generation of people hooked on their deadly products. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States and world. In the U.S. alone, cigarette smoking causes almost 500,000 deaths each year. There are a variety of ways youth can get involved in ending the tobacco epidemic and helping Jeffco be tobacco-free!
Need Help with Quitting?
Talk to a parent/guardian, doctor, school counselor or other trusted adult to learn about ways to never start tobacco or, if you use tobacco, how to quit today. Quitting isn’t easy, but it can be done and the health benefits of quitting start as quickly as 20 minutes after your last cigarette. There are several helpful, free resources that are designed for teens who are ready to quit tobacco.
- Second Chance: The Second Chance program is a free, online nicotine education program that can be used as an alternative to suspension for middle and high school youth who have violated tobacco- free schools policies or local laws. The program can also be used for youth who are experimenting with tobacco or other nicotine products. The program gives the young person an opportunity to reflect on their use of these products and move them towards quitting. If you are parent/guardian who is interested in having their young person work through Second Chance, reach out to see if someone at their school is a Second Chance administrator.
- Not On Tobacco (N-O-T) Program: An American Lung Association program designed for teens who smoke. The 8-10 session group-format is facilitated by someone who has completed a training on the curriculum and how to support youth through the quitting process. The program is being updated to include help for quitting e-cigarettes and is offered periodically in several Jefferson County high schools. Find out if your teen’s school is offering this or another program to help youth quit.
- Colorado Youth QuitLine: The Colorado QuitLine offers free text, online, and phone coaching for youth 12 and over. Medications may be available for ages 18+. Visit COYouthQuitLine.org or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) to learn more.
- This is Quitting: A free text-based cessation program offered by The Truth Initiative to help young people quit tobacco. Text text DITCHJUUL to 887-09 to get started.
- Smokefree Teen/quitStart: Smokefree Teen is part of the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Smokefree.gov initiative. Smokefree Teen helps teens stop using tobacco by providing information grounded in scientific evidence and offering free tools that meet teens where they are—on their mobile phones. Their text messaging program can help teens quit smoking, and the quitSTART app helps teens become smoke free by providing helpful strategies for tackling cravings, bad moods, and other situations where teens may smoke. to get started.
Additional Resources and Ways to Be Tobacco-Free
- Find out more about the tobacco industry’s dirty secrets and how to build a resolve to quit and stay quit. This includes games, videos and other fun youth-focused resources encouraging tobacco-free living: TheTruth.com.
- Don’t let tobacco control you. Learn about the Real Cost of tobacco here: TheRealCost.BeTobaccoFree.hhs.gov/.
- Get help to quit by using Colorado’s web-based resources at: TobaccoFreeCO.org.
- Quit chew, dip or other forms of smokeless tobacco by visiting: MyLastDip.com and ChewFree.com.
- Find helpful fact sheets and information on Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
- For information on the health impacts of tobacco, tobacco industry tricks, what’s in smoke and more, visit: TobaccoIsNasty.com.
- Learn the truth about electronic smoking devices here tobaccofreejeffco.com/vapefacts/.
- Play the Zombie Smokeout Game for a fun way to keep your hands busy until the urge to smoke or use other forms of tobacco passes.
Tobacco Prevention Media Campaigns in Jeffco
You Can Help Jeffco Be Tobacco-Free!
The BE Team and Tobacco-Free Jeffco Alliance both welcome new members at any time throughout the year.
Check out this website to learn more about the harms of tobacco and ways to reduce the toll of tobacco in your community.
If you don’t use tobacco, don’t start! If you do use tobacco, find resources and support to help you quit.
1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2012 [accessed 2015 May 20].
2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014 [accessed 2015 May 20].
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chemicals in Tobacco Smoke: www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sgr/2010/consumer_booklet/chemicals_smoke/.
4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tobacco Industry Marketing: www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/tobacco_industry/marketing/.