Tobacco use in teens reaching an all time high

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Did you know, teenage boys are more likely to try tobacco products before any other demographic?

Smokeless Tobacco

In fact, studies show that in rural areas, boys start using tobacco products as early as the age of twelve. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is hoping to put a stop to this.

Health officials said it really has become an epidemic considering the number of teenage boys who start using tobacco products before the age of eighteen.

Every day in the United States, more than 750 males are using some type of tobacco product, and whether its cigarettes or smokeless tobacco, the effects are the same.

Mitch Zeller, Director of the FDA Center for Tobacco Products said there’s a reason behind early use.

"It's because, in so many rural communities, smokeless tobacco use in teenage boys is a rite of passage,” Zeller explained. “They see their older brothers, their dads, their uncles dipping, chewing and they're walking around thinking there's no risk associated with smokeless tobacco use especially if they're comparing it to the harms of cigarette smoking."

The FDA will be spending 6 million dollars in this campaign anticipating that it will reach as many teens as possible, especially teenage boys in rural areas.

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