PARENTS NEED TO KNOW: NICOTINE IS ADDICTIVE FOR TEENAGERS AND YOUNG ADULTS

BUFFALO, N.Y. – August 22, 2019 – As New York State teenagers and young adults head back to school and college, the New York State Smokers’ Quitline reminds parents to educate them about the effects of nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive substance found in most tobacco products, including cigarettes and e-cigarettes.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports each day in the U.S., nearly 3,300 youth under the age of 18 try their first cigarette. In New York State, e-cigarette use among youth doubled between 2014 and 2016. Parents can help prevent or reduce the prevalence of tobacco-use in youth by relaying three facts.

Fact #1: Nicotine is highly addictive.
Smokefreeteen reports three out of four teens who smoke cigarettes in high school will still be smoking as adults. One cigarette typically contains one to two milligrams of nicotine when smoked and a single e-cigarette pod can contain 20 milligrams or more. Most e-cigarettes, in fact, contain nicotine – not simply water vapor and flavoring. Nicotine rapidly stimulates the brain’s reward centers, making it very difficult for users to quit.

Fact #2: The brain develops through age 25. Nicotine stunts that development.
According to a recent Surgeon General’s report, early nicotine use can lead to “increased risk-taking behavior and a greater susceptibility to initiating substance use and the development of dependence.” Nicotine can stunt the growth of the brain’s prefrontal cortex, which helps control planning, impulse control and working memory.

Fact #3: Parents can set a good example by staying or becoming tobacco-free.
Teenagers and young adults may start to use tobacco products as a result of mimicking their parents’ actions or succumbing to unchecked peer pressure. Conversely, children raised in smoke-free homes are less likely to use tobacco products as an adult. Promoting and living a tobacco-free lifestyle is the best way parents can influence their children not to smoke. For parents who do smoke, the New York State Smokers’ Quitline (Quitline) recommends they consult a doctor and call 1-866-NY-QUITS or visit www.nysmokefree.com for additional support.

Most people who call the Quitline are eligible for a complimentary starter kit of nicotine replacement therapy, including patches and gum or lozenges. The Quitline’s Quit Coaches work with cigarette smokers to develop a customized quit-plan and steps to overcome triggers. The Quitline also encourages cigarette smokers to talk with their healthcare professionals and access their health plan benefits for additional cessation support and stop-smoking medications.

About the New York State Smokers’ Quitline

The New York State Smokers’ Quitline is a service of the New York State Department of Health and based at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, N.Y. It is one of the first and busiest state quitlines in the nation, and has responded to more than 2.5 million calls since its inception in 1999. The Quitline encourages cigarette smokers to talk with their healthcare professionals and access available Medicaid or health insurance benefits for stop-smoking medications. All New York State residents can call 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) for coaching and resources, free of charge, seven days a week beginning at 9 a.m. Visit www.nysmokefree.com for more information.

About Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is a community united by the drive to eliminate cancer’s grip on humanity by unlocking its secrets through personalized approaches and unleashing the healing power of hope. Founded by Dr. Roswell Park in 1898, it is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in Upstate New York. Learn more at www.roswellpark.org, or contact us at 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or ASKRoswell@roswellpark.org.

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