May 18, 2012

Report: Teen, young adult smoking decreases in 6-year period

A new report shows that while a significant segment of minors and young adults are still current smokers, there was a decrease in the rate of cigarette use among these populations between 2004 and 2010 (the year with the latest available data).

The report, based on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), shows that the rate of current cigarette use (having smoked at least once in the past month) among adolescents decreased from 11.9 percent in 2004 to 8.3 percent in 2010. Similarly, the level of current cigarette users among young adults decreased from 39.5 percent in 2004 to 34.2 percent in 2010.

“Although some progress has been made in curbing youth smoking, the fact remains that one in 12 adolescents currently smoke and one in three young adults smoke – which means that far too many young people are still endangering their lives,” SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde said in a media release. “As the recently released Surgeon General’s Report on Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults notes, smoking is the nation’s leading cause of preventable death and we must take every opportunity to prevent kids and young adults of today from becoming the hooked, ailing adult smokers of tomorrow.”

The NSDUH report revealed that the percentage of daily smokers among adolescents declined from 3.3 percent in 2004 to 1.9 percent in 2010. The percentage of young adults who smoked daily also declined from 20.4 percent in 2004 to 15.8 percent in 2010.

The full report, Trends in Cigarette Use among Adolescents and Young Adults, is available here.

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