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Tobacco Use Among Middle and High School Students—United States, 2000–2009

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August 27, 2010 / Vol. 59 / No. 33

MMWR Introduction

Tobacco use continues to be the single leading preventable cause of death and disease in the United States, and more than 80% of established adult smokers begin smoking before the age of 18. To monitor trends in tobacco use among middle and high school students, CDC analyzed data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS).

The findings in this report indicate that from 2000 to 2009, rates of current tobacco and cigarette use as well as experimentation with smoking cigarettes declined for middle school and high schools students. However, the data also suggest the decline is slowing. Overall prevalence did not decrease between 2006 and 2009 for use of any tobacco product among either group. The report also indicates that overall the percentage of middle and high school students who have never tried cigarettes but are open to trying (i.e., "susceptibility") has not changed.

To further decrease tobacco use and susceptibility to use among youth, restrictions on advertising, promotion, and the availability of tobacco products should be combined with full implementation of evidence-based, communitywide, comprehensive tobacco control policies.