Clearing the air: adolescent smoking trends

Curr Opin Pediatr. 2019 Oct;31(5):670-674. doi: 10.1097/MOP.0000000000000810.


Purpose of review: The purpose of this review is to highlight the emerging smoking behaviors and varied tobacco products elevating public health concerns related to the exposure of these potentially harmful substances in the adolescent population.

Recent findings: Although adolescent smoking of traditional cigarettes has declined in the last 40 years, the inhalation of other nicotine-containing products using alternative methods and devices, such as smoking electronic cigarettes, using hookahs, vaping, and JUULing are dramatically on the rise in the adolescent population. Regardless of the novel delivery devices or methods, use of nicotine-containing products in any form is hazardous and unsafe.

Summary: If adolescent smoking trends continue at the current rate in the United States, 5.6 million of today's American youth under the age of 18 will die early from a smoking-related illness. With the emerging high-risk smoking behaviors resulting in detrimental exposure to nicotine and other harmful substances available to adolescents, pediatric healthcare providers will have an increasing responsibility to screen, to manage, and to educate patients and families to combat this imminent threat to the public health of our next generation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Humans
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Tobacco Products / adverse effects
  • Tobacco Products / statistics & numerical data
  • United States / epidemiology