Underage Drinking & Smoking Continues To Decline
Underage drinking and smoking in the United States is still in a downtrend, according to a recent report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
A little more than 4 percent of teens between 12 to 17 years old declared having smoked a cigarette in the month previous to the survey, which was conducted in 2015. This figure compares to 27 percent of young adults aged 18 to 25.
More significantly, these figures imply a marked decline from the figures seen in 2002, when 13 percent of teenagers and 40 percent of young adults said they smoked in the month the preceded the survey.
Everyday young smokers are also less than in 2002, with only 20 percent of young adults smoking every day, versus 31.8 percent in 2002.
Numbers for alcohol usage among the 12-to-17 age group also fell, from 17.6 percent in 2002, to 9.6 percent in 2015.
This data suggests that public health initiatives to reduce underage substance consumption are working, according to Kana Enomoto, principal deputy administrator at the SAMHSA,.
"As cigarette smoking among those under 18 has fallen, the use of other nicotine products, including e-cigarettes, has taken a drastic leap. All of this is creating a new generation of Americans who are at risk of addiction,” Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said a few months ago.
The SAMHSA’s report also looked into the use of illicit drugs, the misuse of psycho-therapeutic drugs, substance use disorders and mental health issues, among other subjects.
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