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New Study Reveals Teens Are Smoking Less

Wayne Wilson, Getty Images

There is some good news being reported about the state of young people in America.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, fewer American teens and young adults are smoking cigarettes than they were nearly a decade ago.

This new report consists of data collected each year between 2004 and 2010 as part of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Researchers interviewed nearly 158,000 people between the ages of 12 and 17 and roughly 159,000 men and women between the ages of 18 to 25.

  • The number of children between the ages of 12 and 17 who smoked every day fell from 3.3% in 2004 to 1.9% in 2010.
  • Young people ages 18 to 25 years old also reported decreased daily tobacco use – from 20.4% in 2004 to 15.8% in 2010.
  • The ranks of young smokers between the ages of 12 and 17 who smoke five or fewer cigarettes a day grew from nearly 37% in 2004 to almost 43% in 2010.
  • The largest group of daily smokers between the ages of 18 to 25 who smoked between six and 15 cigarettes a day slightly increased from about 41% in 2004 to roughly 44% in 2010.
  • There was nearly a 3% decrease in young adults who smoked 26 or more cigarettes a day.

According to researchers, the downward trend in tobacco use could be the result of anti-smoking laws, tax increases, and tougher laws prohibiting the sale of tobacco to minors.

Researchers also add that while these findings may be encouraging, many kids are still picking up this dangerous habit.


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