The percentage of smokers in the North Country is greater than the national and New York State percentages. To reduce tobacco use in the region, it is critical to prevent the initiation of tobacco use by young people because:
- Nearly all (96%) of smokers begin smoking before the age of 21;
- Smokers often transition from experimentation to addiction between the ages of 18 and 21; and
- The younger the age of initiation, the greater the risk of nicotine addiction, heavy daily smoking, and difficulty quitting.