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Breathe California has been working hard to provide tobacco services to San Francisco Unified School District’s high schools for several years. Our recent efforts include tobacco awareness classes which teach students critical thinking skills helpful in combating “Big Tobacco” advertising that targets youth. We have also been able to support the wellness programs at these schools by training youth outreach workers who in turn pass on what they learn from us to their peers through presentations and school-wide events.

We at Breathe California appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with SFUSD – but why is working together in this way so important?

  • 23% of SFUSD 11th graders had already used an e-cigarette or other vaping device
  • Nearly 9 out of 10 smokers started by age 18.
  • Among youth who persist in smoking, 1 out of 3 will die prematurely from smoking.
  • 70% of youth smokers want to quit.
  • Youth are sensitive to nicotine and can feel dependent earlier than adults. Because of nicotine addiction, about 3 out of 4 teen smokers end up smoking into adulthood even if they intend to quit after a few years.

Please contact Tanya Stevenson at (650) 994-5868 or email TanyaS@ggbreathe.org to find out about bringing our Tobacco Awareness Classes to your school

Why are young adults targeted by “Big Tobacco”?

“Public health has always been fixated on 12 year olds, but the truth of the matter is the Tobacco Companies have always been focused on the 18-25 year olds – because that’s where long-term addiction starts.”
–Stan Glantz, Wisconsin College Summit Keynote 2002

“Younger adults have been the critical factor in the growth and decline of every major brand and company over the last 50 years. Younger adult smokers are the only source of replacement smokers. If younger adults turn away from smoking, the industry must decline just as a population which does not give birth will eventually dwindle.”
–RJR Reynolds document “Young Adult Smokers – Strategies & Opportunities” 2/29/84