Adolescents Are Still Smoking, but Percentages Have Dropped

Cigarette use has been dropping in the last decades from a record high level of almost 40 per cent in the mid-seventies to 22 per cent in 2003.

But, regardless of decades of warnings, labels on cigarette packaging and prevention programs in the schools, the millions of teenagers start smoking each year.

Smoking Teen

Teen girl taking a cigarette

Risk factors for starting smoking are environmental and societal factors, individual factors, and parental factors.

Boys can smoke 20 years and after that quit smoking while girls can estimate an average of 30 years of smoking.

Exposure to movies where celebrities smoke significantly augments the chances of smoking initiation among adolescents. Teenagers admire smoking celebrities believing that smoking looks sexy, appealing and brave.

A new report, based on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), founds that tobacco use amongst adolescents has declined from 11.9 per cent in 2004 to 8.3 per cent in 2010 and that of tobacco use among young adults dropped from 39.5 per cent in 2004 to 34.2 per cent in 2010. In spite of this figures, a significant percentage of both adolescents and young adults are current smokers.

The definition of ‘current’ was defined as having smoked at least once in the past month.

SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde affirmed that though some progress has been made in reduce youth smoking rates, there is still 1 in 12 minors currently smoke and 1 in 3 young adults smoke. That means that too many young people are still putting at threat their health.

In accordance with the NSDUH report, based on 157,524 people aged 12 – 17 years and 158,794 people aged 18 – 25 years, the percentage of adolescents who smoked every day declined from 3.3 per cent in 2004 to 1.9 per cent in 2010, while young adults who smoked daily was as well seen to decrease from 20.4 per cent in 2004 to 15.8 per cent in 2010.

The percentage of daily smoking young adult who smoked 26 or more cigarettes every day dropped from 6 per cent to 3.4 per cent in the course of the 6-year period, while people who smoked 5 or less cigarettes every day grew from 24.4 per cent to 28.6 per cent from 2004 to 2010.

SAMHSA’s main goal is to avert illegal cigarette sales to underage people and tobacco consumption through the Synar Amendment program, a federal and state partnership, which demonstrates their latest report that the average national retailer violation rate of cigarette sales has declined to 9.3 per cent, which is the lowest rate in the programs 14 year-long history.

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