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Nationally, tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable and early death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports the life expectancy for a smoker is reduced by almost a decade when compared to a nonsmoker, with smoking contributing to 1 out of every 5 deaths in the United States each year (CDC, February 6,2014). The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) estimated in 2012 that approximately 20% of the American population uses tobacco or a tobacco related substance, resulting in over 65 million regular tobacco users (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), September, 2013). Tobacco products include, cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, hookahs, pipes, snus and electronic cigarettes. There is minimal use of foreign products such as Bidis and Kreteks. Smoking related deaths from stroke, emphysema, cancer and heart disease kill an “estimated 443,000 Americans each year” and “costs the nation $96 billion in direct medical costs” and an almost equal amount in secondary costs from work loss productivity (Sebelius, 2012). Tobacco use in the form of cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes is the most common form of substance abuse among teens. Prevention of tobacco use among teens aged 13-17 is a significant social and health concern. The Surgeon General’s latest report (2014) on the health consequences of smoking relates an annual related death of over 278,000 from the years 2005-2009 (The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2012). The American Lung Association (ALA) states, “everyday 3,900 children under the age of 18 years of age” will try their first cigarette and later 20% will become addicted (ALA, 2010). The CDC information indicates th... ... middle of paper ... ...dation has a well-known successful anti-smoking campaign called truth whose effectiveness on tobacco prevention has resulted in an “estimated savings between $1.9 and $5.4 billion in medical care costs to society”. The truth campaign has capitalized on social media to establish a rapport with teens, driving online conversations to go against multilevel protobacco marketing. The CDC suggests when using social media to reach teens, to incorporate words and music common to the teen culture and use to content that is considered relevant and valuable (“Social Media Tools,” 2013). Teens are discerning and research tells us to avoid the hard sell. Teens respond to content that makes them feel heard and seen and social media provides that platform. For any health intervention strategy to be successful and effective in tobacco prevention, teen culture must be addressed.

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