Youth Tobacco Use Down Since 2000; No Drop Since 2006

One in four high school students still reports current use of a tobacco product

FRIDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- The use of cigarettes and tobacco products by youths has declined substantially over the past decade -- though not from 2006 to 2009 -- but nearly one in four high school students still used tobacco products in 2009, according to a report in the Aug. 27 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

René A. Arrazola, of the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues used 2000 to 2009 data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey to assess trends for tobacco use as well as behaviors and attitudes among middle school and high school students.

The researchers found that, in 2009, 8.2 percent of middle school students and 23.9 percent of high school students reported current use of any tobacco product, while 5.2 percent of middle school students and 17.2 percent of high school students reported current cigarette smoking. The overall prevalence of use of any tobacco product did not decrease between 2006 and 2009 among either age group. However, from 2000 to 2009, current tobacco use among middle school students fell from 15.1 to 8.2 percent, and current cigarette smoking declined from 11.0 to 5.2 percent. There were similar trends for high school students, with current tobacco use dropping from 34.5 to 23.9 percent and current cigarette smoking down from 28.0 to 17.2 percent.

"To further decrease tobacco use and susceptibility to use among youths, restrictions on advertising, promotion, and availability of tobacco products to youths should be combined with full implementation of evidence-based, communitywide, comprehensive tobacco control policies," the authors write.

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