Health >> Tobacco >> Teens >> Grade, Race/Ethnicity, Gender

Asian teens were one half to one fourth as likely to use tobacco as teens of other races/ethnicities.

Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S., accounting for almost 1 in 5 deaths each year. Most tobacco users become addicted during adolescence, so prevention (and marketing) efforts often focus on teens.

In a 2010 survey of Washington public school students, teens were asked about their use in the past 30 days of cigarettes, cigars, or cigarillos; snuff or chewing tobacco; and tobacco that tastes like fruit, candy, or alcohol. Although 2008 data showed that hookah (water pipe) use was common among King County teens, hookah use was omitted in the 2010 survey, doubtless resulting in underestimates of overall tobacco use.

  • Asian teens in King County were least likely to have used tobacco products.  American Indian/Alaska Native teens were more likely than Black, Multiple-Race, White, Hispanic, and Asian teens to have used tobacco products.  There were no other differences by race/ethnicity.
  • As with adults, male teens were more likely than females to have used tobacco products. 
  • Teen tobacco use was similar across all King County regions (data not shown).