Philadelphia Has the Highest Youth Smoking Rate

youth smoking 80% of shops which sell tobacco products are situated within 1,000 feet of a school. Children who try to buy cigarettes succeed 20% of the time. Traders who sell tobacco products illegitimately to people under 18 are mailed a $100 ticket for the first, second or fifth infringement.

The result of this survey, officials say, is the highest smoking rate among young people in the majority of big cities. City Council plans to increase the fine for minor sales to 250% and direct the process to temporarily stop businesses after three infringements.

“They look at me for several seconds, and then hand me my cigarettes,” said Sara Dobrin, 16, who has bought cigarettes from city stores for many times working in undercover checks which are conducted by many counties. “They probably do not care about our health or that we could become addicted to nicotine at a young age. They only want money.”

Researchers state teenagers smoking is closely linked to money. Greater tax incomes explain why white teenagers smoke at higher rates than Afro-Americans and also why mean national rates are higher than in Philadelphia.

Statistics conducted by the city demonstrate that Philadelphia has 4,398 tobacco retailers, or 27 retailers for every 1000 children.

“While children are going to and from school, they are subjected to a lot of tobacco advertising,” stated Ben Gelbert, director of policy for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, stressing that tobacco producers responded to raised advertisement restrictions by relying on retailers in order to promote and distribute their products.

Tobacco excise duties, which are regulated by the state, mean that tobacco products in Philadelphia cost $6 to $7 a package in comparison with the $8 to $9 in Boston. And in case a package is rather expensive, retailers start to sell loosies, two cigarettes for $1.

Approximately a third of teenagers in the city buy cigarettes directly from a store.

“I understand that children can borrow cigarettes, but when they can buy them smoking becomes too difficult to control,” stated pediatrician Sara B. Kinsman.

Smoking leads to many health problems in young people. But the biggest concern about children smoking is that 80% of adult smokers started lightning up in their teens.
It is a closed-chain problem in Philadelphia where was registered the highest adult smoking rate. Teenagers grow up being surrounded by adult smoking.

What concerns children, the rate is completely a white phenomenon: More than 15% of white student in 9-12th grate stated that they had smoked at least 20 of the last 30 days. That is 14 times the Afro-Americans rate.

Public health officials state that white teenagers have more money than minority young people to spend on tobacco products.

However the satiation changes when children reach adulthood. Philadelphia’s adult smoking rate constituted 27% in 2008, which is practically identical to Afro-Americans rate.

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