1 in 5 U.S. high school students uses tobacco, CDC says

One in five high school students report smoking regularly, according to the CDC

One-fifth of the nation's high school students say they have smoked in the past 30 days, and nearly half of them admit to having experimented with smoking at least once in their lives, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report, published Thursday in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, also revealed that 6.5% of U.S. middle school students have tried a tobacco product at least once.

Cigarette use continues to be more popular than cigars with high school students, but just by a hair. While 12.7% of high students reported smoking a cigarette in the past 30 days, 11.9% said they had smoked a cigar.

Middle school students were slightly more likely to have smoked a cigar in the past 30 days (3.1%) as a cigarette (2.9%).

The CDC's study is based on data collected by the 2013 National Youth Tobacco Survey. The survey was distributed to 18,406 private and public school students across the country.

The survey asked students to report whether they had ever used any one of a list of tobacco products including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookahs and dissolvable tobacco, and then if they had used any of those products in the past 30 days. 

Participants were also asked to describe their electronic cigarette use. According to the study, 4.5% of high school students smoked an e-cigarette in the past 30 days, and 11.9% admitted to trying it at least once. Among middle school students, 3% said they had tried an e-cigarette.

Although the health risks of e-cigarettes are still being debated, the researchers cite the 2014 U.S. surgeon general's report that found that any type of nicotine use can have adverse effects on adolescent brain development. 

Science rules! Follow me @DeborahNetburn and "like" Los Angeles Times Science & Health on Facebook.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
45°