From 2000 to 2011, current cigarette use among middle school and high school students declined significantly, according to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
The report, which included data from the 2011 National Youth Tobacco Survey, showed that among middle school students, prevalence of current tobacco use (14.9% in 2000 to 7.1% in 2011), current combustible tobacco use (14.0% to 6.3%) and current cigarette use (10.7% to 4.3%) all declined. A similar downward trend was observed among high school students, with decreases in tobacco (34.4% to 23.2%), combustible tobacco (33.1% to 21.0%) and cigarette (27.9% in 15.8%) use.
After cigarettes, the most commonly used forms of tobacco among middle school students were cigars (3.5%), smokeless tobacco (2.2%), pipes (2.2%), bidis (1.7%) and kreteks (1.1%). Among high school students, the most common forms of tobacco after cigarettes were cigars (11.6%), smokeless tobacco (7.3%), pipes (4.0%), bidis (2.0%) and kreteks (1.7%).
The CDC attributes the overall reduction in tobacco use among youths to effective interventions, such as media campaigns, limiting tobacco advertisements and increasing the price of tobacco products. However, the rate of decline in cigarette smoking among adolescents was slower during the 2000-2011 study period compared with the 1997-2003 period, which followed years of increase in cigarette use among youth in the 1990s.
“These interventions should continue to be implemented as part of national comprehensive tobacco control programs and should be coordinated with Food and Drug Administration regulations restricting the sale, distribution and marketing of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products to youth,” the researchers wrote.
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.