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Young Adults

A Time of Transition

Young adults, a population which includes those aged 18-24, present a constant challenge in the fight against tobacco use prevention. As youth grow up, leave home, and enter the workforce or go off to college, peer and life pressures escalate, leaving young adults particularly vulnerability to tobacco influences.

Young adults can be comprised of college students, those who have entered the work force after graduation, immigrants, gays and lesbians, mothers, and members of the military. The stress of transition during this time for all members of this population segment is high: young adults are often moving away from home, starting work or working in low-wage jobs, or struggling with relationships or pregnancy. It is also an age of experimentation, and young adults who feel invincible are vulnerable to the pressures of trying smoking or chewing tobacco. The tobacco industry seizes this opportunity to promote its product and vigorously drive home its messaging.

Find more facts about Young Adult smoking, in Maine and nationally, by reading the Young Adult Fact Sheet.

A Critical Market for Big Tobacco

The tobacco industry considers the young adult years critical to the expansion of their market and sales. The industry uses massive research efforts to gather information on young adult habits and behaviors to better target their product. During this time, Big Tobacco’s slick marketing tactics and flood of messages to teens that smoking is an “adult behavior” begin to gain footing, and the foundation laid during youth is used to secure their addiction in young adulthood.

In particular, the tobacco industry believes that the drug effects of nicotine are “most rewarding to the individual under stress” and it is eager to offer its products as a way to calm nerves and relieve tension – such as the stresses of transition that occur during this time.

Find out more about how the tobacco industry targets youth.

Challenges of Young Adults

Find out more about the unique prevention challenges of young adults.

Providers have a unique opportunity to break the cycle of addiction in young adults. Find information at our Providers page.

Young Adult Resources to Quit

Additional Links

Raise Smoke-Free Kids. Tips, myths, and awareness information for parents.

Got A Minute?. A social marketing campaign that encourages parents to talk to their children about smoking.

Get facts that kids respond to. Facts about tobacco use from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that teens will listen to.

How Parents Can Protect Their Kids. The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids offers help for concerned parents and how to take action to protect their kids and help them from becoming addicted.

How The ACS Can Help In Making Your Campus Become Smoke-Free

Parenting Skills: 21 Tips & Ideas to Help You Make a Difference. Parents are the biggest deterrent for their kids when it comes to using drugs and alcohol. The Department of Health and Human Services helps parents get involved.

TheTruth.com. An interactive, in-your-face website that helps young adults learn the truth about Big Tobacco.


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