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Youth & Tobacco

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Maryland Teens Rejecting Abusive Smoking Habits

The CSMH works closely with Maryland's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to provide consultation and training to approximately eleven Youth Against Tobacco coalitions and twelve college coalitions throughout the state of Maryland. The Center also assists with the planning and coordination of statewide youth advisory board meetings which are held quarterly, and statewide college coalition meetings which are held two times per year.

During these meetings, youth come together from across the state to develop goals and strategies for advancing the movement against tobacco use in Maryland.  CSMH staff may also provide training and/or presentations during the advisory board meetings and assist with material development.  Past trainings include media literacy, leadership development, event marketing, goal setting and achievement, and advocacy. The Center provides detailed notes reflecting these meetings and summarizes the evaluations completed by the youth and adult advisors.

All vendor contracts and payments for the youth advisory board meetings, college board meetings and statewide events are handled by the CSMH. Some of the most recent events include the Smoke-Free Battle of the Bands at Six Flags and an evening with nationally renowned comedian, Rene Hicks, a lung cancer survivor and powerful advocate against second hand smoke.

Tobacco's Toll in Maryland


  • About 50 - 60 youth in Maryland will begin smoking each day, replacing the longtime smokers who either quit or die.
  • Nearly one out of three Maryland youth are regular smokers by age 17.
  • 23.7 percent of Maryland high school students smoke. That's 67,500 youth!
  • Youth in Maryland buy or smoke 16.2 million packs of cigarettes each year.
  • 104,000 Maryland youth under age 18 will ultimately die prematurely from smoking.
  • 12,200 youth (under 18) become new daily smokers each year in Maryland.
  • 270,000 Maryland youth are exposed to secondhand smoke at home.


  • More Maryland children alive today will die from tobacco use than from any other single cause - including AIDS, alcohol, accidents, murders, suicides, illegal drug use and fires combined.
  • As the number one killer of Marylanders, tobacco use robs us of over 7,700 family members and costs our economy over 1.5 billion dollars each year.
  • The annual health care cost in Maryland directly caused by smoking is over $1.5 billion.
  • It is estimated that tobacco companies in Maryland spend over $213 million each year on marketing tobacco products.
  • 22 percent of Maryland adults smoke.   That's over 860,000!