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Minerva Pediatrica 2004 December;56(6):553-66

Copyright © 2004 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Youth and tobacco

TanskiS. E., Prokhorov A. V., Klein J. D.


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Youth around the world take up smoking and use tobacco products at high rates. Young people may not grasp the long-term consequences of tobacco use, although tobacco consumption and exposure has been shown to have significant negative health effects. Youth use a variety of tobacco products that are smoked, chewed, or sniffed, including machine-manufactured cigarettes, cigars, bidis, kreteks, sticks, and snuff. Prevention efforts have focused on countering those aspects that are believed to contribute to smoking uptake, such as tobacco industry advertising and promotion, and access to tobacco. There are many aspects of tobacco promotion through the media that have been more difficult to control, however, such as product placement within popular cinema movies. Once a youth has taken up tobacco, he or she is more likely than an adult to become addicted and should be offered treatment for tobacco cessation. Although there is not yet sufficient evidence to prove efficacy, the same treatments are suggested for youth as are recommended for adults, including nicotine replacement products. Given the severity of the tobacco epidemic worldwide and the devastating health effects on an individual and population basis, there are currently many efforts to curtail the tobacco problem, including the World Health Organization (WHO) sponsored Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. It is through comprehensive and collaborative efforts such as this that the global hazard of tobacco is most likely to be overcome.

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