Heavy Smoking Among Teens Declining, But Ocassional Smoking on the Rise?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a study on high school students to research their patterns of tobacco use. According to their findings, the number of U.S. high school students who smoked at least eleven cigarettes a day was on the decline. However, the number of ‘light’ smokers was on the rise. “Light” smoking is defined as one who smokes between one and five cigarettes per day whereas “heavy” smokers consume around eleven or more cigarettes per day (almost an entire pack of cigarettes), according to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Despite the number of heavy smokers decreasing, the number of light smokers increasing is still worrisome. “It is important to note that light and intermittent smoking still has significant health risks,” says Dr. Terry Pechachek, of the CDC. Considering policies on smoke-free public places and the high cost of cigarettes, people may be adapting their smoking habits to changing times. “We may be creating a new type of smoker that may be more durable, that are adapting to smoke-free environments and to changing social norms,” Pechachek added.

To read more on the report by Reuters, click here.

Further statistics from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJMP) studied between 14,000 and 16,000 teen smokers from 1991 to 2009 and found that over that time period, teens who smoked eleven cigarettes or more a day decreased by 10.2%. But the number of light smokers increased during that same time period by 12.2%. To read the study in-depth, click here.


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