|CO rank (2009)
||CO value (2009)
||Best state (2009)
||Best state value (2009)
||HP 2010 target
17/42 = 20/50
Percentage of high school students who smoked cigarettes on one or more occasions during the past 30 days.
By the time they are 12th-graders, one-quarter of adolescents have begun smoking cigarettes. Smoking can lead to decreased physical activity because of phlegm production and related respiratory problems. Lung development can also be retarded if cigarette smoking is started at an early age. Each day 3,500 children under age 18 start smoking, with 1,100 becoming regular smokers. If this trend continues, an estimated one-third of today's adolescents will die prematurely from smoking-related illnesses. Most adolescents who have smoked 100 or more cigarettes report that they would like to quit but can't. Studies also link cigarette smoking to mental health problems such as depression.1
Colorado ranks 17th among the 42 states that collect data on adolescent smoking. While nearly one in five adolescents smoked in the past 30 days, Colorado's adolescent smoking rate has declined from 27 percent in 2001 to 18 percent in 2009. Hispanic adolescents are slightly more likely to smoke than white adolescents (21 percent vs. 17 percent).
The FixNixer.com website was launched in Colorado in 2004 to help adolescents and adults find successful smoking cessation resources. The website assists users in developing a customized plan to quit smoking and set realistic goals, including a quit date. The site is anonymous, free and includes an online community forum and QuitBlog.
FixNixer.com is sponsored by the Tobacco Education and Prevention Partnership of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and is funded by the Amendment 35 tobacco excise tax.2
High school students who smoked cigarettes in past month5
- American Lung Association, "Adolescent Smoking Statistics," November 2003.
American Psychological Association, "Smoking Increases Teen Depression," Monitor on Psychology, December 2000.
American Cancer Society, "Child and Teen Tobacco Use."
- Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
- Source: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 2001–2009.
- Source: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 2009.
- Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Healthy Youth!, 2009.