Are Young Smokers Opting for Cigarette Alternatives?


Are Young Smokers Opting for Cigarette Alternatives?

The number of young cigarette smokers in the United States has decreased, but that may be due to people switching from regular cigarettes to other forms of tobacco, according to a new poll.

Over the past decade, the percentage of young American smokers ages eighteen to twenty-nine had dropped from thirty-four percent between 2001 and 2005, to twenty-two percent between 2011 and 2015, the Gallup poll stated. In other words, the smoking rates in the United States have decreased by twelve percent. (Gallup is an American research-based consulting company and the Gallup Poll is a barometer of American opinion.)

Young adults in the United States used to be more likely to smoke cigarette, compared with people over the age of thirty. However, according to a Gallup poll, the smoking rate among young adults in now similar to that of people ages thirty to forty-nine and people ages fifty to sixty-four.

Another more recent Gallup poll that was conducted in 2015 between the moths of January and October, found that although the number of young cigarette smokers had dropped, they appear to have switched to other alternatives like pipes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco. Young adults are also more likely to use other forms of tobacco, compared with people in older age groups.

For instance, the poll found that 4.1 percent of young adults ages eighteen to twenty-nine said that they smoked cigars, compared with only 1.7 of people ages fifty to sixty-four, and 2.4 percent of thirty- to forty-nine-year-olds. Moreover, 5.4 percent of young adults admitted they used smokeless tobacco (like chewing tobacco), compared with 2.8 percent of people ages fifty to sixty-four, and 4.3 percent of those ages thirty to forty-nine.

One Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that from 2011 to 2014, the number of high school students who smoked cigarettes decreased. However the number of those who used hookahs increased. Hookahs are large pipes in which tobacco smoke goes through water before it is inhaled.

The Gallup poll also found that about five percent of young adults used three or more cigarette alternatives, which is two times higher than the national average.

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