Youth & Tobacco

teenage boys
Each day in the United States, nearly 2,900 kids under 18 years of age smoke their first cigarette and more than 700 kids become daily cigarette smokers.1 Many of these kids will become addicted before they are old enough to understand the risks and will ultimately die too young of tobacco-related diseases.

FDA is working to protect the health of America's children and ultimately reduce the burden of illness and death caused by tobacco use.

The Changing Landscape of Youth Tobacco Use

CTP is committed to a science-based approach that addresses the public health issues associated with tobacco use. That's why we are collaborating with CDC's Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) on the only nationally representative survey of middle and high school students that focuses exclusively on tobacco use – the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS).

Flavored Tobacco

On September 22, 2009, FDA banned cigarettes with characterizing fruit and clove flavors -- cigarettes that have special appeal for children. The agency's national effort to enforce this provision of the Tobacco Control Act and to advise parents about the dangers of flavored tobacco products was an important first step for responsible tobacco regulation that will protect the American public.

Regulations Restricting the Sale and Distribution of Cigarettes and Smokeless Tobacco to Protect Children and Adolescents

FDA issued a final rule containing a broad set of federal requirements designed to significantly curb access to, and the appeal of, cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products to children and adolescents in the United States. The rule became effective on June 22, 2010, and has the force and effect of law. Among other things, the rule:


1. NSDUH 2013
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, NSDUH: Table 4.10A Past Year Initiation of Substance Use among Persons Aged 12 or Older Who Initiated Use Prior to the Age of 18, by Gender: Numbers in Thousands, 2011 and 2012. Rockville (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, 2014, Retrieved on April 17, 2015 from


Resources for Parents


Resources for Industry