LOS ANGELES — Nearly 30 percent of middle and high school boys and nearly 18 percent of girls used some form of tobacco last year, the federal government said in a report published Thursday.
Over the last decade, there has been a slow decline in tobacco use among middle and high school students, the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. But when compared with other long-term studies, such as the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, the steep rate of decline from 1997 to 2003 has slowed noticeably.
Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States.
“An overall decline in tobacco use is good news, but although four out of five teens don’t smoke, far too many kids start to smoke every day,” Thomas R. Frieden, director of the CDC, said in a statement. “Most tobacco use begins and becomes established during adolescence. This report is further evidence that we need to do more to prevent our nation’s youth from establishing a deadly addiction to tobacco.”
Nearly 25 percent of high school males and more than 17 percent of high school females used some form of smoked tobacco product in 2011, according to the analysis, published Thursday in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.