A new report issued this month by the U.S. Surgeon General indicates that 3.6 million youth in the U.S. are cigarette smokers. The report found that for every tobacco-related death, two new young people under the age of 26 become regular smokers. Mobilize Against Tobacco for Connecticut’s Health (MATCH) is a statewide coalition of organizations and individuals fighting to reduce tobacco use – the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Connecticut and the U.S.
According to the most recent statistics compiled by the MATCH Coalition, 15.4% of adults smoke in Connecticut, and 24% of people ages 18-24. Each year, 4,700 people in Connecticut die from smoking, including 440 who die from secondhand smoke. More than 2/3 of Connecticut’s smokers indicated they want to quit (70%), nearly half attempt to quit each year (45%) and only 5% are successful for longer than one year.
The national report found that nearly 90 percent of new smokers under age 26 try their first cigarette by age 18. Approximately 3 out of 4 high school smokers continue to smoke well into adulthood.