207,000 children start smoking in the UK every year.

Read the facts on young people and smoking.

Young People and Smoking

  • 2/3 of adult smokers say they started smoking before they were 18. 80% started smoking before 20.
  • Around 207,000 children start smoking in the UK every year.
  • 1/3 – 1/2 of young people that try smoking are likely to become regular smokers within two to three years.
  • Children who live with parents that smoke are 3 times more likely to become smokers.
  • Children can become addicted to the nicotine in tobacco very quickly, even before they have started smoking daily.
The main risk factors for young people to start smoking are: having parents, siblings or friends who smoke, socio-economic background, exposure to tobacco marketing and smoking in the media.