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Cigarette Use Among High School Students—United States, 1991–2003

June 18, 2004 / Vol. 53 / No. 23


MMWR Highlights

  • During 2003, 21.9% of high school students currently smoke cigarettes, down from 36.4% in 1997. Current smoking is defined as having smoked on one or more days of the 30 days preceding the survey.
  • Lifetime cigarette use among high school students is 58.4%, down from 70.4% in 1999.
  • Current frequent smoking, defined as smoking on at least 20 of the 30 days preceding the survey, increased from 12.7% in 1991 to 16.7% in 1997 and 16.8% in 1999, then declined significantly to 9.7% in 2003.
  • Current, frequent, and lifetime smoking rates in 2003 are at the lowest level since the national Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) was initiated in 1991.
  • During 2003, white students were significantly more likely than black and Hispanic students to report current smoking.
  • During 2003, more white female students than black and Hispanic female students and more Hispanic female than black female students reported current smoking.
  • The prevalence of smoking was not significantly different among white, black, and Hispanic male students.
  • If prevention efforts are sustained and the pattern of teen smoking continues to decline at the current rate, the United States could achieve the 2010 national health objective of reducing current smoking rates among high school students to 16% or less.
 
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