DefinitionPercentage of students who smoked cigarettes on one or more of the past 30 days.
NumeratorNumber of students surveyed who smoked cigarettes on one or more of the past 30 days.
DenominatorNumber of all students surveyed.
Data Interpretation IssuesData are from sample surveys and subject to selection bias. Data are self-reported and subject to recall bias. 2015 YRBS data for Utah are not available.
Why Is This Important?Tobacco use remains a leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States. Children and adolescents who smoke cigarettes are at increased risk for developing respiratory illnesses, impaired lung growth, cancer, heart disease, and weakened immune systems. One third of adolescents who continue to use tobacco will die from tobacco-related diseases. In addition, youth smokers are less physically fit and less likely to be committed to their education than their nonsmoking peers. Since nearly all adult smokers begin smoking during adolescence, preventing youth from starting to use tobacco products is expected to result in substantial declines in tobacco-related disease and death.
Healthy People Objective TU-2.2:Reduce use of cigarettes by adolescents (past month)
U.S. Target: 16.0 percent
State Target: 5.0 percent
Other ObjectivesCSTE Chronic Disease Indicators
How Are We Doing?Utah teen smoking almost doubled from the mid-80s to the mid-90s (Bahr Survey, 1984-1997). Since the mid-90s, Utah's high school smoking rate declined from 17.0% to 3.8% (YRBS 1995-2017).
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?In 2017, Utah's smoking rate for students in grades 9-12 was 3.8% (Utah YRBS 2017) compared to the U.S. rate of 8.8% (National YRBS 2017).
What Is Being Done?The Tobacco Prevention and Control Program at the Utah Department of Health and its partners prevent youth tobacco use through a variety of programs and initiatives.
These programs include an anti-tobacco marketing campaign, school- and community-based prevention activities, tobacco cessation programs tailored to teens, and initiatives to strengthen tobacco-free norms and protect children and nonsmokers from secondhand smoke through tobacco-free policies. These efforts are supported by local youth groups who share information about the dangers of tobacco use, expose tobacco industry marketing techniques, and educate about the benefits of tobacco-free policies.
Utah's anti-tobacco marketing campaign uses television, radio, billboard, online, and print media to reach mainstream and high risk youth with anti-tobacco messages. The campaign's goals are to counter tobacco industry advertising, inform Utahns about quitting services, and reinforce and support local tobacco control initiatives. Quitting services available to Utah youth include a Tobacco Quit Line program tailored to teens (1-800-QUIT-NOW). Efforts to strengthen tobacco-free policies focus on schools, multi-unit housing, and outdoor venues frequented by children and adolescents.
Health Program InformationFor more information on tobacco prevention and control programs in Utah, please call the Tobacco Free Resource Line at 1-877-220-3466.