The purpose of this review is to highlight the emerging smoking behaviors and varied tobacco products elevating public health concerns related to the exposure of these potentially harmful substances in the adolescent population.
Although adolescent smoking of traditional cigarettes has declined in the last 40 years, the inhalation of other nicotine-containing products using alternative methods and devices, such as smoking electronic cigarettes, using hookahs, vaping, and JUULing are dramatically on the rise in the adolescent population. Regardless of the novel delivery devices or methods, use of nicotine-containing products in any form is hazardous and unsafe.
If adolescent smoking trends continue at the current rate in the United States, 5.6 million of today's American youth under the age of 18 will die early from a smoking-related illness. With the emerging high-risk smoking behaviors resulting in detrimental exposure to nicotine and other harmful substances available to adolescents, pediatric healthcare providers will have an increasing responsibility to screen, to manage, and to educate patients and families to combat this imminent threat to the public health of our next generation.
aCollege of Nursing and Health Professions, Drexel University
bDrexel University College of Medicine
cDrexel University College of Medicine and School of Public Health, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Correspondence to Renee Turchi, MD, MPH, FAAP, Professor of Pediatrics and CHP, Drexel University College of Medicine and School of Public Health, 160 East Erie Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19134, USA. Tel: +1 215 427 5331; fax: +1 267 359 5723; e-mail: Rmt28@drexel.edu