Although teen smoking rates have declined since the 1990s, 1 out of every 5 teens are still current cigarette smokers, according to new information published Thursday by the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. In 1999, 35% of high school students were smokers and now, 10 years later, the number has dropped to about 20%. While the rates have dropped, the numbers are still discouraging. Previous studies have proven that a smoking at a younger age can increase the difficulty of quitting as adults.
The report suggests that the high teen smoking rates during the early to mid-1990s were most likely due to extensive tobacco company promotional efforts, including sponsorships of concerts and portrayals of smoking in film.
Last year, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act granted the FDA more authority to regulate the tobacco industry— mainly in instituting restrictions on youth access and promotional practices.
In order to boost the slow rate of decline, the report advocates a reduction in tobacco advertising and availability. Last month, some new rules that limit the marketing of cigarettes went info effect.
The best thing that you, as a concerned parent, can do is TALK TO YOUR KIDS about the dangers of smoking. Make sure they know the facts!