Lower Smoking and Drinking Rates Found Among American Teens: CDC Report


A latest report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found smoking and drinking rates have drastically dropped among American teens.

Researchers said that lower rates of drug use, weapons use and risky sex have been recorded since 1991. At the same time, increasing number of teens are sporting bicycle helmets and wearing seat belts.

But the same report states that more number of teens continue to text while driving and spend more time playing video games or in front of computers.

"Overall, young people have more healthy behaviors than they did 20 years ago," said Dr. Stephanie Zaza, who oversees the study at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NY Daily News reports.

For the study, the researchers surveyed 13,000 U.S. high school students last spring.

The researchers found that less than 16 percent of the teens smoked a cigarette in the previous month when compared to 27 percent in 1991. Matt Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said that although it is superb news for America's health, there are still about 2.7 million teens who smoke.

The report, however, did not focus on e-cigarettes that have been on the rise in the recent past.

More than 23 percent of teens reported using marijuana in the previous month, an increase from 15 percent in 1991.

CDC officials could not determine whether marijuana or e-cigarettes have replaced traditional cigarettes among teens.

Fighting incidences have been reduced to half in the past 20 years. Last year, reports of fights were estimated at 25 percent, a decrease from 33 percent two years ago.

Todd DeMitchell of the University of New Hampshire and school violence expert said that lower incidents of physical abuse at schools might be due to the presence of more guards and enhanced security measures.

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