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PHOM Indicator Profile Report of Smoking Among Adolescents

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.

Current Cigarette Smoking by Year, High School Students Grades 9-12, Utah and U.S., 1991-2017

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confidence limits
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.

Data Sources

  • Utah Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, Utah Department of Health
  • Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Data Notes

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.

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).

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.

Healthy People Objective: Reduce use of cigarettes by adolescents (past month)

U.S. Target: 16.0 percent
State Target: 5.0 percent

Date Indicator Content Last Updated: 10/25/2018

Other Views

The information provided above is from the Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sat, 24 August 2019 20:27:51 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Thu, 20 Jun 2019 13:03:28 MDT