From 2003-2013, underage smoking between youths aged 12-17 declined sharply in 49 out of 50 states, according to a new report, State Estimates of Adolescent Cigarette Use and Perceptions of Risk of Smoking, conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. According to the report, underage cigarette smoking dropped from 12.6 percent in 2003 to 6.1 percent in 2013.
Utah was the only state that did not experience a significant decline, since it has one of the lowest levels of underage cigarette smoking in the nation. During the reporting period, Utah experienced a slight decline in underage cigarette smoking, from 6.6 percent in 2003 to 5.4 percent in 2013.
Studies show that adolescents’ perceptions can influence whether they decide to smoke. The greater perception of a health risk, the less likely the adolescent is to smoke cigarettes.