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Why Is This Important?
Nicotine exposure in any form among youth and young adults can disrupt growth of brain circuits that control attention, learning, and susceptibility to addiction to other drugs (e.g., cocaine and methamphetamine.) Effects of nicotine exposure on youth brain development can be long-lasting, and can include lower impulse control and mood disorders. Young people who smoke are also in danger of nicotine addiction, reduced lung growth and function, and early cardiovascular disease. Shortness of breath and lower stamina due to smoking can affect athletic performance in youth and teens. Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Smoking is initiated and established primarily during adolescence, with more than 80% of adult smokers first smoking before age 18. One in six adults and one in nine youth smoke in New Mexico. About half of all lifetime smokers will die early because of their tobacco use. In New Mexico, about 2,800 people die from tobacco use annually and another 84,000 are living with tobacco-related diseases. Annual smoking-related medical costs in New Mexico total $844 million.
A current smoker is defined as a youth in grades 9-12 in a NM public high school who smoked cigarettes on one or more days in the past month.
Data Notes**Data are not available for some counties due to lack of participation in the YRRS by one or more school districts or insufficient sample size. County-level YRRS estimates come from the larger NM sample dataset, while state-level YRRS estimates come from the smaller CDC sample.
- U.S. data source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data
- New Mexico Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey, New Mexico Department of Health and Public Education Department.
How the Measure is Calculated
Numerator:Number of youth who reported smoking cigarettes on one or more days in the past month
Denominator:All youth who participated in the YRRS