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Health Indicator Report of Smoking Among Adolescents

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.
Data are self-reported and subject to recall bias. Data are from a sample survey and subject to selection bias. Comparisons of annual rates must be interpreted cautiously as methods used to collect YRBS data may vary from year to year. With the introduction of active parental consent for Utah school surveys between 1997 and 1999, the student response rate for the YRBS decreased significantly. 2015 YRBS data for Utah are not available.

Current Cigarette Smoking by Year, High School Students Grades 9-12, Utah and U.S., 1991-2023


The Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) is conducted with a representative sample of Utah public high school students in grades 9 to 12. Surveys were only conducted in odd-numbered years. 2015 YRBS data for Utah are not available.[[br]] ^^*Use caution in interpreting; the estimate has a coefficient of variation > 30% and is therefore deemed unreliable by Utah Department of Health and Human Services standards.

Data Sources

  • Utah Department of Health and Human Services Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS)
  • Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, US Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control, and Prevention (CDC)

Data Interpretation Issues

Data are from sample surveys and are subject to selection bias. Data are self-reported and subject to recall bias. 2015 YRBS data for Utah are not available.


Percentage of students who smoked cigarettes on one or more of the past 30 days.


Number of students surveyed who smoked cigarettes on one or more of the past 30 days.


Number of all students surveyed.

Other Objectives

CSTE Chronic Disease Indicators

How Are We Doing?

Cigarette smoking among Utah high school students almost doubled from the mid-80s to the mid-90s (Bahr Survey, 1984-1997). Since the mid-90s, the percentage of Utah high school students who reported cigarette smoking declined from 17.0% to 1.1% (Utah YRBS 1995-2023).

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

In 2023, 1.1% of Utah high school students reported cigarette smoking (Utah YRBS 2023). In comparison, 1.9% of U.S. students reported cigarette smoking in 2023 (National Youth Tobacco Survey 2023).

What Is Being Done?

The Tobacco Prevention and Control Program at the Utah Department of Health and Human Services and its partners prevent youth tobacco use (including the use of vape products) 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 and vape 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 quit services, and reinforce and support local tobacco control initiatives. Quit services available to Utah youth include a Tobacco Quit Line program tailored to teens ([]). Efforts to strengthen tobacco-free policies focus on schools, multi-unit housing, and outdoor venues frequented by children and adolescents.

Available Services

The Utah Tobacco Quit Line offers customized assistance for quitting tobacco use (including vape products) to Utah adults, youth, and Spanish speakers. The quit program for youth can be accessed online at [].

Health Program Information

For more information on tobacco prevention and control programs visit [].
Page Content Updated On 03/13/2024, Published on 05/30/2024
The information provided above is from the Utah Department of Health and Human Services IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Mon, 17 June 2024 23:16:42 from Utah Department of Health and Human Services, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Thu, 30 May 2024 14:30:03 MDT