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New CDC data on a range of youth risk behaviors show youth cigarette smoking at 22-year low

Thursday, June 12, 2014   (0 Comments)
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey showing changes in a number of health behaviors among high school students, including those related to smoking, computer usage, and sexual activity. Smoking among high school students dropped to the lowest levels since 1991 when the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) first began collecting these data. Nationwide, cigarette smoking rates among high school students dropped to 15.7%, marking the first time the U.S. has met its national Healthy People 2020 objective of reducing adolescent cigarette use to 16% or less. Despite this progress, reducing overall tobacco use remains a significant challenge. For example, other national surveys show increases in hookah and e-cigarette use.

Other key findings in the 2013 report include:

  • No change in smokeless tobacco (e.g. chewing tobacco, snuff, dip) use since 1999, and a decline in cigar use that has slowed in recent years, with cigar use now at 23% among male high school seniors (includes cigars, cigarillos, little cigars).
  • 41% percent of students who had driven a car or other vehicle during the past 30 days had texted or emailed while driving.
  • A significant decrease in drinking soda (or pop) one or more times per day from 34% in 2007 to 27% in 2013.
  • A doubling in the percent of those using a computer three or more hours per day from 22% to 41% between 2003-2013 for non-school related work.
  • Among high school students who are currently sexually active, a decline in condom use from 63% in 2003 to 59% in 2013. Sexually active in this survey is defined as having had sexual intercourse during the previous 3 months.

CDC has prepared fact sheets that include in depth information for each topic area, and there are also data tables that compare each state or large school district with national data.

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