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Health Indicator Report of Cigarette Use among High School Students

Tobacco use is usually initiated during adolescence. Nearly 90% of adult smokers begin smoking before 18 years of age. [1] Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Smoking claims 480,000 lives each year.[2] It has been shown that smoking increases the risk for chronic lung disease, coronary heart disease, and stroke, as well as cancer of the lungs, larynx, esophagus, mouth, and bladder. In addition, smoking contributes to cancer of the cervix, pancreas, and kidneys. Exposure to secondhand smoke increases the risk for heart disease and lung cancer among nonsmokers.


This is Healthy New Jersey 2020 (HNJ2020) Objective TU-1b.   **The survey is not conducted annually.

Data Sources

  • Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
  • Youth Tobacco Survey, Office of Tobacco Control, New Jersey Department of Health, []


Percentage of high school (9th-12th grade) students who have used cigarettes on one or more days in the 30 days preceding the survey


Number of high school student survey respondents who have used cigarettes on one or more days in the 30 days preceding the survey


Total number of high school student survey respondents

Healthy People Objective: Reduce tobacco use by adolescents in grades 9 through 12: Cigarettes (past month)

U.S. Target: 16.0 percent
State Target: 12.8 percent

Other Objectives

'''Healthy New Jersey 2020 Objective TU-1b''': Reduce the proportion of high school students (grades 9 to 12) who are current smokers (any use in past 30 days) to 12.8% among the total population, 13.8% among Whites, 9.9% among Blacks, and 13.1% among Hispanics.

How Are We Doing?

Cigarette use among New Jersey high school students has steadily declined since the late 1990s and in 2014 stood at about 8 percent. Healthy New Jersey 2020 targets were met by all groups by 2012.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

The proportion of New Jersey high school students who are current smokers is below that of the nation as a whole.

What Is Being Done?

The Office of Tobacco Control is spearheading work on statewide comprehensive tobacco free policies in schools. New Jersey Quit Services are accessible online and by phone. In July, 2017, a bill raising the minimum age for purchase and sale of tobacco products and electronic smoking devices from 19 to 21 was signed into law.

Available Services

[ NJ Quitline]: 1-866-NJ-STOPS QuitNet: []

Health Program Information

NJDOH Office of Tobacco Control: []
Page Content Updated On 02/03/2017, Published on 09/25/2017
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's NJSHAD web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Thu, 20 September 2018 1:30:38 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

Content updated: Tue, 4 Sep 2018 05:00:56 EDT