Philadelphia City Branding Image

Text Size:

Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth
Among large US cities, Philadelphia has one of the highest rates of youth smoking:

  • 90% of all current smokers started before the age of 18
  • Youth are more likely to become addicted to nicotine than adults
  • Cigarette use among youth in Philadelphia is declining, while use of electronic smoking devices, cigars and smokeless tobacco is increasing
  • There is a strong relationship between youth smoking and depression, anxiety and stress

A significant number of tobacco retailers sell tobacco products illegally to Philadelphia’s youth. You can report retailers online or by calling 1-888-99-SMOKE (1-888-99-76653). This will trigger a compliance check..

Risk Factors That Encourage Youth to Start Smoking
  • If youth see tobacco use is acceptable or normal among their peers
  • Parental smoking may promote smoking among young people
  • Lower socioeconomic status, including lower income or education
  • Lack of skills to resist influences to tobacco use
  • Lack of support or involvement from parents
  • Accessibility, availability and price of tobacco products
  • Low levels of academic achievement
  • Low self-image or self-esteem
  • Exposure to tobacco industry advertising
Protective Factors That Prevent Youth From Smoking
  • Religious participation
  • Racial/ethnic pride and strong racial identity
  • Higher academic achievement


Any Philadelphian can report a retailer selling tobacco products illegally to youth online or by calling 1-888-99-SMOKE (1-888-99-76653). This will trigger a compliance check.


Find Out More

For more information, visit SmokeFree Philly or call 311.