News

Teens are smoking less but texting more

Teens are smoking less but texting more

TEENS & TEXTING: The CDC says fewer teens are smoking and having sex, but texting while driving is on the rise. Photo: clipart.com

By David Beasley

ATLANTA (Reuters) – Fewer U.S. teenagers are smoking cigarettes, fighting or having sex, but texting while driving is prevalent among high school students, according to a survey released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday.

In 2013, 15.7 percent of teenagers reported smoking cigarettes, the lowest rate recorded since the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey began in 1991, the CDC said.

But more than 40 percent of students who had driven a car in the previous 30 days said they sent text messages or emails while driving. Last year’s survey was the first to collect such data on texting and emailing while driving.

“It’s encouraging that high school students are making better health choices such as not fighting, not smoking and not having sex,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a statement.

But, he added, “way too many young people still smoke, and other areas such as texting while driving remain a challenge.”

In the 1991 survey, 27.5 percent of high school students said they smoked cigarettes. The rate increased to 36.4 percent in 1997 before beginning a steady decline, the CDC said. In 2011, 18.1 percent of teenagers reported smoking.

The rate of students using smokeless tobacco increased from 7.7 percent in 2011 to 8.8 percent in 2013, the CDC said.

The percentage of students who reported ever having sexual intercourse dropped slightly from 47.4 percent in 2011 to 46.8 percent in 2013.

Fighting also declined, the survey showed. In 2013, 24.7 percent of students reported having been in a physical fight at least once during the prior 12 months, down from 32.8 percent in 2011.

(Reporting by David Beasley; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Eric Beech)

Recent Headlines

in Music

Dustin Lynch hit in the face by beer can

Fresh
dustinlynch

The "Where It's At" hitmaker was left bleeding profusely during his performance and required stitches to close the wound.

in Music

Roseanne Cash honored for ‘ingenuity’

Fresh
roseannecash

Johnny Cash's daughter was one of only 10 recipients of the Smithsonian Ingenuity Awards in Washington, D.C.

in Music, Viral Videos

WATCH: ‘Stingtones’

24-overlay2

What if Sting recorded your cell phone ringtone - or, even better - your voicemail message?

in Entertainment

‘Fury’ is all the rage at the box office

fury

Brad Pitt's gritty World War II drama conquered all box office foes over the weekend, ringing up $23.5 million in ticket sales.

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: This forecast has gone to the dogs

20-overlay3

A dog visits the set of a Canadian newscast and steals the show.