BACKGROUND Warning labels on tobacco products are a means to communicate information about the negative health effects of tobacco use to current and potential users. Most tobacco use begins in early adolescence, making it particularly important to understand the degree to which warning labels reach adolescents. PURPOSE To examine the extent to which youth report (1) seeing the current warnings on cigarettes and smokeless tobacco (SLT) products in the U.S. and (2) that seeing warnings makes them think about the health risks associated with tobacco use. METHODS Exposure to warning labels on cigarettes and SLT, as well as the degree to which adolescents report thinking about health risks in response to warnings, was examined among U.S. middle and high school students using data from the 2012 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) and analyzed in 2013. RESULTS Current data suggest that less than half of adolescents who saw a cigarette pack (46.9%) or SLT product (40.3%) reported seeing the warning label "most of the time" or "always." Among adolescents who reported seeing a warning, less than one third reported that cigarette (30.4%) or SLT (25.2%) warning labels made them think about health risks "a lot." These rates were even lower among current tobacco users (<14%). CONCLUSIONS Current warning labels for cigarettes and SLT could be improved by implementing warnings that incorporate features that make them salient and more likely to evoke thoughts about health risks.