In Florida, the reality is that about one out of every 10 teens is using tobacco1.
It just may seem like more. Why is that?
Think about it. You usually see smokers in groups and typically those groups are in front of buildings with clouds of smoke above them. You also see smoking in a lot movies and TV shows. The reality is there are more non-smokers than smokers. The ironic part is that many people start smoking to meet other people and be part of a group, but they end up doing something most people don't do.
Most people don't smoke. In Florida, more than four out of five people are smoke-free. Why does it matter how few people smoke?
Many teens feel pressure to fit in and smoking may seem like a good way to do that. The tobacco industry knows you want to fit in, be cool, be rebellious and they market their products to portray that image. Tobacco companies want you to feel that pressure so you will try their products and then use them long enough to become addicted. Once you're addicted, you end up spending a LOT of money and wasting a LOT of time trying to hide it. You're hiding it because smoking is not "the norm". If teens knew that most people don't smoke, the pressure to start would go away.
Did you know that more than 8 out of 10 adults DO NOT smoke?
It is true. And it is important to know the facts. Busting the myth of the number of smokers makes smoking less appealing and it makes it easier to enforce rules that protect everyone from secondhand smoke. It's your right to breathe clean air. People are more likely to support smoking bans when they know the majority of the population does not smoke.