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SAP Bulletin 9: Underage Tobacco Use

Student Assistance Programs (SAPs) Bulletin 9 Underage Tobacco Use is designed to support school administrators and personnel, non-profit organizations, and agencies who are involved with SAPs.

Student Assistance Programs: Helping to Close the Achievement Gap


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco use, including cigarette and cigar smoking and smokeless tobacco use, is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Each year, smoking causes approximately 438,000 premature deaths. Every day, approximately 4,000 American youths aged twelve through seventeen try their first cigarette, and 1,140 of those students become addicted to nicotine. In 2007, 20 percent of high school students reported current cigarette use and 14 percent reported current cigar use. In addition, 8 percent of high school students and 18 percent of white male high school students reported current smokeless tobacco use. Students who use tobacco products are more likely to use alcohol and other drugs, be involved in violence and gangs, and experience a decline in academic success.

How a Student Assistance Program Can Help

Student Assistance Programs (SAPs) help students by informing them about resources available in the school or the community to help them stop using tobacco. In addition, the SAP team will investigate student involvement in other negative behaviors that are associated with tobacco use1.

Carefully examined data collected by the SAP can assist school or district advisory groups in assessing current tobacco-use prevention and intervention programs. Participant feedback can help determine the need for modifications to existing programs or the implementation of new strategies.

Additional Information

1Fact Sheet: Links Between Cigarette Smoking and Other Substance Use, Violence, and School Problems External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF), WestEd

2005 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Youth Tobacco Cessation: A Guide for Making Informed Decisions External link opens in new window or tab. , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Questions: John Lagomarsino | | 916-323-1540 
Last Reviewed: Monday, May 2, 2016
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