CDC finds less teen smoking, fewer fights, but too much texting and driving

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NATIONAL — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System monitors a wide range of priority health risk behaviors among representative samples of high school students at the national, state, and local levels.

National, state, and large urban school district surveys are conducted every two years among high school students throughout the United States. The report includes National YRBS data and data from surveys conducted in 42 states and 21 large urban school districts.

Key findings from the survey:

  • Cigarette smoking rates among high school students have dropped to 15.7 percent, meeting the Healthy People 2020External Web Site Icon objective of reducing adolescent cigarette use to 16 percent or less.
  • The percentage of high school students nationwide who had been in a physical fight at least once during the past 12 months decreased from 42 percent in 1991 to 25 percent in 2013.
  • Fights on school property have been cut in half during the past 20 years, from 16 percent in 1993 to 8 percent in 2013.
  • Nationwide, 41 percent of students who had driven a car or other vehicle during the past 30 days reported texting or emailing while driving.
  • The percentage of high school students who are currently sexually active has declined from 38 percent in 1991 to 34 percent in 2013.
  • Among the high school students who are currently sexually active, condom use also has declined from 63 percent in 2003 to 59 percent in 2013.

The report also indicates varied trends in obesity-related behaviors in recent years, such as excessive screen time (TV/computer use) and drinking sugar-sweetened beverages like soda. The full report can be found atwww.cdc.gov/yrbs.


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