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 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.”