News on Wellness

Cigarette Smoking Among Young People Lowest Since 1991, CDC says


Last year, the number of high school students smoking hit a 20-year-low, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported in a news release.


According to findings made by the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), last year the U.S. had a smoking rate of 15.7 percent. The country achieved its Healthy People 2020 goal of having less than 16 per of the adolescent population smoking.

Generally tobacco use has been experiencing a downward trend. However, other forms of smoking such as e-cigarettes and hookah smoking have gained significant popularity. The use of smokeless tobacco among adolescents has experienced insignificant change since 1999 and the rate of decrease in cigar use has slowed down.

During the news release CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. said it is encouraging to see that high school students are making informed health choices such as not smoking, not having sex and not fighting. He however noted that the number of young people smoking is still too large and they are also facing other challenges such as texting when driving. Frieden feels there is need to invest in programs that can assist young people make better choices so that they can live longer, healthier lives.

The report also looked at other issues affecting the young people such as sex and the rates of violence. The team noted the percentage of high school students involved in a fight in the past one year had dropped to 25 percent in 2013 from 42 percent in 1991. In 2013 the percentage of sexually active high school students was 38 a drop of 6 percent as compared to 1991.

CDC’s Laura Kann, Ph.D said that the survey is an important tool to understand how risk behaviors among the young people vary over time and help the society reduce the prevalent behaviors and monitor emerging ones.

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