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MMWR Surveill Summ. 2006 May 19;55(3):1-56.

Youth tobacco surveillance--United States, 2001-2002.

Author information

  • 1Office on Smoking and Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC, USA.

Abstract

PROBLEM/CONDITION:

Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, accounting for approximately 440,000 deaths each year. The prevalence of cigarette smoking nationwide among high school students (grades 9-12) increased during the 1990s, peaking during 1996-1997, and then declined. Approximately 80% of tobacco users initiate use before age 18 years. An estimated 6.4 million children aged <18 years who are living today will die prematurely as adults because they began to smoke cigarettes during adolescence. The annual health-related economic cost associated with tobacco use exceeds 167 billion dollars. Because of these health and economic consequences, CDC has recommended that states establish and maintain comprehensive tobacco-control programs to reduce tobacco use among youth.

REPORTING PERIOD:

This report covers data collected during January 2001-December 2002.

DESCRIPTION OF THE SYSTEM:

The National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) and state youth tobacco surveys (YTS) were developed to provide states with data to support the design, implementation, and evaluation of comprehensive tobacco-control programs. NYTS is representative of middle and high school students in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. During spring 2002, a total of 26,149 students in 246 schools completed NYTS questionnaires. Weighted data for the YTS were achieved by 13 states in 2001 and by 20 states in 2002; state sample sizes varied (range: 982-38,934). This report summarizes data from the 2002 NYTS and the 2001 and 2002 YTS.

RESULTS AND INTERPRETATION:

Findings from the 2002 NYTS indicate that current use of any tobacco product ranged from 13.3% among middle school students to 28.2% among high school students. Cigarette smoking was the most prevalent form of tobacco use, with 9.8% of middle school students and 22.5% of high school students reporting that they currently smoke cigarettes. Cigar smoking was the second most prevalent form of tobacco use, with 6.0% of middle school students and 11.6% of high school students reporting that they currently smoke cigars. Among current cigarette smokers, 41.8% of middle school students and 52.0% of high school students reported that they usually smoke Marlboro cigarettes. Black middle school and high school students who smoke were more likely to smoke Newport cigarettes than any other brand (58.3% and 66.8%, respectively). Among middle school students aged <18 years, 75.9% were not asked to show proof of age when they bought or tried to buy cigarettes, and 63.4% were not refused purchase because of their age. Among high school students aged <18 years, 58.5% were not asked to show proof of age when they bought or tried to buy cigarettes, and 60.6% were not refused purchase because of their age. Nearly half (49.6%) of middle school students and 62.1% of high school students who smoke reported a desire to stop smoking cigarettes, with 55.4% of middle school students and 53.1% of high school students reported having made at least one cessation attempt during the 12 months preceding the survey. Among students who have never smoked cigarettes, 21.3% of middle school students and 22.9% of high school students were susceptible to initiating cigarette smoking in the next year. Exposure to secondhand smoke (i.e., environmental tobacco smoke) was high. During the week before the survey, 1) 88.3% of middle school students and 91.4% of high school students who currently smoke cigarettes and 47.1% of middle school students and 53.3% of high school students who have never smoked cigarettes were in the same room with someone who was smoking cigarettes; 2) 81.7% of middle school students and 83.7% of high school students who currently smoke cigarettes and 31.5% of middle school students and 29.1% of high school students who have never smoked cigarettes rode in a car with someone who was smoking cigarettes; and 3) 71.5% of middle school students and 57.5% of high school students who currently smoke cigarettes and 33.3% of middle school students and 29.9% of high school students who have never smoked cigarettes lived in a home in which someone else smoked cigarettes. Media and advertising influence was also noted, with 58.1% of middle school students and 54.9% of high school students who currently use tobacco and 11.0% of middle school students and 13.7% of high school students who have never used tobacco reporting that they would wear or use an item with a tobacco company name or logo on it. Although 84.6% of middle school students and 91.2% of high school students had seen or heard antismoking commercials on television or radio, 89.9% of middle school students and 91.3% of high school students also had seen actors using tobacco on television or in the movies.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS:

Health and education officials use YTS and NYTS data to plan, evaluate, and improve national and state programs to prevent and control youth tobacco use. States can use these data in presentations to their state legislators to demonstrate the need for funding comprehensive tobacco-control programs, including tobacco cessation and prevention programs for youth.

PMID:
16708059
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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