Kids Smoking – Will the CDC’s Graphic Ads Help Deter Underage Smoking?

Kids Smoking

Will ads like this deter your children from ever smoking cigarettes? The CDC hopes it does.

Outside of drinking, kids smoking issues is probably one of the biggest problems in this country today and it’s something that parents dread talking about. Smoking causes so many disabilities, deaths and disease that one would wonder why cigarettes, cigars and tobacco in general are still legal, but they are for those over age 18. So why are kids smoking more and more these days?


Underage smoking is one of the biggest health issues our country faces and according to one study, nearly 25% of high school kids in the U.S. are smokers. Add the additional 8% who use smokeless tobacco (i.e. snuff, dip, chew, etc) and you have a HUGE reach by the tobacco industry into the lives of our children and once they’re hooked, studies show they may be hook for a long long time. The most disturbing fact is that because our teens are getting hooked on tobacco products at such a young age, the chances that they will develop diseases and eventually die prematurely rise dramatically. It’s scary to say the least.

The American Cancer Society says nine of 10 smokers started before they turned 18.*


Sandra Young at CNN recently wrote about how the CDC or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have started unveiling some very graphic ads that are meant to deter kids and adults from taking up this deadly habit. Sandra writes…

“The ads highlight a shocking but very realistic fate that could await some current smokers if they continue their tobacco addiction,” said Nancy Brown, the association’s CEO. The ads note that smoking contributes to one in five strokes and increase the odds of having a heart attack. “The American Heart Association believes these graphic ads, coupled with vigorous tobacco control at the state level, will reach not only the adults who smoke, but also will break through to teens and discourage them from ever taking up this deadly habit,” she said.*

What amazes me is that the CDC, which is a U.S. Federal Agency under the Department of Health and Human Services, has determined that in order to deter underage smoking, they need to spend money on a marketing campaign. Is it too much to ask that this FEDERAL agency step and and ban tobacco products all together? Well, I’m sure many would disagree with me on that subject but the bottom line is that tobacco products and smoking cigarettes kill more people in this country than alcohol, car accidents, suicide, AIDS, homicide and illegal drugs COMBINED (source: But yet we need to resort to not policy changes but rather marketing to get the job done which to me is a big joke.

But we all know that making tobacco products illegal in the U.S. will probably never come so here’s the truth as to why this marketing plan is needed….to combat the marketing effort of the tobacco companies who are spending MILLIONS of DOLLARS each year to promote their cancer causing products.

The CDC said the tobacco industry spends more than $27 million a day on marketing to kids and others — about $10 billion a year. In two days, the industry spends about what the government has budgeted for the entire 12-week campaign. The industry denies that it markets to children.*

So, although I dislike the idea that a Federal Agency is spending so much on marketing and so little on banning these products, I do understand the behemoth tobacco companies they are fighting against for the welfare of our young kids. For that I applaud them.

So we go right back full circle to the theme of a lot of my writing and that is this…..parents are ultimately responsible for the welfare of their children (young and old) and it’s the parents’ responsibility to make sure their children do NOT take up smoking or use of any tobacco product that can harm and even kill them in time. You cannot rely on Federal Agencies, marketing campaigns or anyone for that matter to help you in the fight to keep the kids smoking epidemic away from your children. Sometimes parents will fail in their efforts but the effort still needs to be made to promote a healthy lifestyle for our children as they grow into adulthood and that is something we’re all tasked with as Moms and Dads. And that also means if you are a Parent and you are a smoker, you need to lead by example and stop NOW!


Do you part as you cannot rely on the U.S. government to fight this battle for you. Kids smoking needs to stop and it starts with you.


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