In many parts of the world, teenage girls are smoking as much as the boys are.
Officials at a tobacco conference in Finland are now recommending that governments target girls and women in their anti-smoking campaigns.
A first-of-its-kind survey says Europe and the Americas have the smallest gap between young male and female smokers.
Here in the U.S., 17.7 percent of boys are smokers, compared with 17.8 percent of girls.
Experts blame the increase on marketing that portrays smoking as fashionable, but boys still smoke more than girls worldwide.
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Overview of Tobacco Use
- Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, causing more than 400,000 deaths each year and resulting in an annual cost of more than $50 billion in direct medical costs.
- Each year, smoking kills more people than AIDS, alcohol, drug abuse, car crashes, murders, suicides, and fires combined.
- Nationally, smoking results in more than 5 million years of potential life lost each year.
- Approximately 80 percent of adult smokers started smoking before the age of 18. Every day, nearly 3,000 young people under the age of 18 become regular smokers.
- More than 5 million children living today will die prematurely because of a decision they will make as adolescents, the decision to smoke cigarettes.
- Approximately 10 million people in the United States have died from smoking-attributable causes. Two million of those deaths, more than the population of Houston, have been from lung cancer alone.
- American smokers have consumed 17 trillion cigarettes. If laid end to end, those cigarettes would cover 900 million miles (a distance long enough to circle the Earth and Jupiter in certain alignments) or circle the earth at the equator more than 36,000 times.
- Almost two million Americans have not died from smoking-attributable diseases as a result of decisions they have made to not start or to discontinue smoking.
- About 48 million American adults smoke, but approximately 42 million more would have smoked without smoking prevention activities.
Source: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/overview/30yrs2t.htm (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).