Top Menu

Almost 30 Percent of Teen Boys Use Some Form of Tobacco, CDC Study Finds


Almost 30 percent of boys and 18 percent of girls in middle and high school used some type of tobacco last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Thursday. The rate of teen tobacco use has been slowly declining over the past decade.

The CDC report found 23.2 percent of high school students and 7.1 percent of middle school students used some form of tobacco, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The CDC findings come from a national survey of almost 19,000 students. The report notes that among middle school students, current cigarette use declined from 10.7 percent in 2000 to 4.3 percent in 2011. Among high school students, current cigarette use decreased from 27.9 percent to 15.8 percent during that period.

“An overall decline in tobacco use is good news, but although four out of five teens don’t smoke, far too many kids start to smoke every day,” Thomas R. Frieden, Director of the CDC, said in a statement. “Most tobacco use begins and becomes established during adolescence. This report is further evidence that we need to do more to prevent our nation’s youth from establishing a deadly addiction to tobacco.”

4 Responses to this article

  1. maxwood / August 13, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Though politicians don’t want to discuss it, think about the possibility that legal affordable cannabis could wipe out teenage tobacco use in a surprisingly short time, without introducing comparable health and behavior problems.

  2. Jeff / August 10, 2012 at 11:57 am

    It would be very interesting to see a geographical breakdown of use. Urban vs. rural, etc., by type of product used. I would think if a child’s parents smoke the child might be more apt to smoke. If the parents used “chew” the child might be more apt to do the same. I think proximity and famial/social circle acceptance goes a long way toward promoting behaviors in children.

  3. Fern / August 13, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    There are studies that support your thoughts, Jeff. Children who have parents or other significant adults in their lives who use tobacco are more likely to use tobacco, too. An American Lung Assoc. brochure stated that 90% of the kids who had significant adults in their lives, such as parents, would eventually smoke as well.

  4. Fern / August 13, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    I meant to say on the last sentence, significant adults who smoked, the kids would eventually smoke as well.

Leave a Reply

Please read our comment policy and guidelines before you submit a comment. Your email address will not be published. Thank you for visiting

+ seven = 12

Reproduction in whole or in part of this publication is strictly prohibited without prior consent. Photographic rights remain the property of Join Together and the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. For reproduction inquiries, please e-mail