Increase in Smoking among High School Students
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday that the percentage of high school students who smoke frequently rose in six of 11 states where surveys were conducted between 1991 and 1997.
Smoking rates remained stable in the other five states. However, federal health officials also said that the figures did not necessarily reflect a national trend.
Frequent smoking, or smoking almost every day, rose 52 percent among high school students in Montana and 49 percent in South Dakota, the CDC said. There were smaller increases in Alabama, Massachusetts, South Carolina and Vermont.
Frequent smoking among the students surveyed remained stable during the 1990s in Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, Utah and West Virginia, the CDC said.
"Eighty percent of persons who use tobacco begin before age 18. It is critical that tobacco control programs focus on preventing tobacco use among youth," said Laura Kann of the CDCâ€™s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.