Tobacco Alcohol and Youth - Cigarettes
current students smokers graders
The results of the 2003 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance offered insight into current tobacco use by high school students. The report showed that 27.5% of high school students were current tobacco users in 2003. (See Table 5.2 in Chapter 5.) Prevalence of current use was lowest in ninth grade, and it increased through grades ten, eleven, and twelve. Males were more likely to be current tobacco users than females. They were also much more likely to smoke cigars or use smokeless tobacco. As has been shown in other studies, a greater percentage of white high school students were current tobacco users than African-American or Hispanic students. African-American students had the lowest prevalence rate.
In the Monitoring the Future 2003 survey (see Table 6.2) the prevalence of cigarette smoking rose for eighth, tenth, and twelfth graders from 1991 to 1996, and declined from 1997 to 2003. For eighth graders, thirty-day prevalence rates (the proportion of those who used cigarettes in the thirty days prior to the survey) grew from 14.3% in 1991 to 21% in 1996 and then dropped to 10.2% in 2003. For tenth graders, the increase was from 20.8% to 30.4% during 1991-1996, falling to 16.7% in 2003. For twelfth graders, the rate rose from 28.3% in 1991 to a high of 36.5% in 1997, declining to 24.4% in 2003.
Figure 6.2 shows CDC data on the percentage of high school students who had ever smoked during their lifetime, who were current smokers (smoked at least once over the previous thirty days), or were current frequent smokers (smoked on twenty or more of the previous thirty days) from 1991 to 2003. The CDC data show the same trend as the MTF survey: there was an increase among current and frequent smokers in the early 1990s, but rates dropped between 1999 and 2003. The rate for lifetime smokers fell from 70.4% to 58.4%; the rate for current smokers fell from 34.8% to 21.9%; and that for current frequent smokers fell from 16.8% to 9.7%.