CDC: Teen cigarette smoking at 22-year low

Texting and driving is still a problem among high school students, survey finds

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June 14, 2014 | 12:00 pm

Cigarette smoking among U.S. high school students is at the lowest level in 22 years while texting and driving is on the rise, according to results released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The National Risk Behavior Survey began in 1991 and administers anonymous questionnaires to more than 13,000 students regarding health-risk behaviors.

According to the survey, 15.7 percent of teens smoke cigarettes, marking the lowest rate since the survey began in 1991, down from 18.1 percent in 2011. The rate peaked in 1997, when 36.4 percent of students reported smoking cigarettes.

The U.S. met its national Healthy People 2020 objective, as officials hoped to reduce adolescent smoking to less than 16 percent.

But other surveys say tobacco use isn’t necessarily on the decline, saying hookah and e-cigarette use is still prominent, as 22.4 percent of respondents used some sort of tobacco.

For the first time, the survey asked students participating in the survey about their texting and driving habits. The number of students who texted while driving ranged from 32 percent to 61 percent across 37 states. Nationwide, of the nearly 65 percent of students who drove a car within 30 days of the survey, 41 percent reported texting or emailing while driving.

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