Teen Smoking at Historic Lows But Marijuana Use High: Survey

Judy Hartnett's picture
Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cigarette and alcohol use among teens is at the lowest level in decades, but marijuana use is on the rise, according to a survey released on Wednesday.

Just under 19 percent of high school seniors said they smoked cigarettes in the past month compared to a peak rate of 36.5 percent in the mid-1990s, results from the National Institutes of Health Monitoring the Future survey showed.

Rates of cigarette smoking among all teens surveyed decreased compared to last year's results.

Researchers said 100 percent smoke-free locations and higher cigarette prices helped drive down the number of teen smokers.

Although alcohol remains popular among teens, rates of underage and binge drinking showed significant declines, researchers said.

Overall, cigarette and alcohol usages by teens are at the lowest points since the first survey was taken in 1975.

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