Student smoking rates started to decrease in late 1990s, but decline slowed during 2003 to 2009

-- Beth Gilbert

Friday, July 9, 2010 (Last Updated: 07/12/2010)

FRIDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- Among U.S. high school students, the rates of those who had ever smoked cigarettes, those who were current users of cigarettes, and those who were current frequent users of cigarettes began to decline in the late 1990s, with a more gradual decline from 2003 to 2009, according to data published in the July 9 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

CDC researchers evaluated data from the national Youth Risk Behavior Survey to assess trends in cigarette use among U.S. high school students between 1991 and 2009. The researchers found that the prevalence of those who had ever tried cigarette smoking remained the same between 1991 and 1999, declining from 70.4 percent in 1999 to 58.4 percent in 2003, and then declined more slowly, to 46.3 percent in 2009.

The researchers found that the prevalence of current smokers increased from 27.5 percent in 1991 to 36.4 percent in 1997, declined from 34.8 percent in 1999 to 21.9 percent in 2003, and then fell more gradually, to 19.5 percent in 2009. The prevalence of current frequent cigarette smokers increased from 12.7 percent in 1991 to 16.8 percent in 1999, decreasing from 1999 to 9.7 percent in 2003, and then declining slowly, to 7.3 percent in 2009. While the rate of decline in current cigarette use slowed or leveled off for most racial/ethnic and gender subgroups since 2003, no slowing or leveling off occurred in the rate of decline after 1999 among black female students.

"To increase the rate of decline in cigarette use among high school students, reductions in advertising, promotions, and commercial availability of tobacco products should be combined with full implementation of communitywide, comprehensive tobacco control programs," the authors write.

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Specialties Cardiology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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