Child Health USA 2006
Photographs of children's faces

Health Status > Adolescents


As reported in the Monitoring the Future Study, cigarette smoking declined among 10th and 12th graders but remained stable for 8th graders between 2004 and 2005. Among 10th graders, 14.9 percent reported smoking at least once during the previous 30 days in 2005, compared to 16.0 percent the year before. The rate among 12th graders dropped from 25.0 to 23.2 percent over the same period. Overall, there has been a 56 percent decline among 8th graders and a 51 percent decline among 10th graders since use peaked among those grades in 1996. Among 12th graders, use peaked in 1997 and has seen a more modest decline of 36 percent. Factors that appear to have contributed to this decline include increases in perceived risk and disapproval of smoking, high cigarette prices, and anti-smoking advertising campaigns.

The teen smoking rate increased substantially between 1991 and 1996. Increases occurred in virtually every sociodemographic group: both sexes, those planning on attending college and not, those living in all four regions of the country, those living in rural and urban areas, and among Whites, Black, and Hispanics. Since 1996, rates have declined across all demographic groups consistently. Although absolute rates of smoking have declined among adolescents, certain subgroups are less likely to smoke than others. Students who are not college-bound are more likely to smoke than their college-bound peers, and Black adolescents are less likely to smoke cigarettes than White adolescents. The decline in rates of cigarette smoking since 1996 is likely to have important long-term health consequences for this generation of adolescents.


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Child Health USA 2006 is not copyrighted. Readers are free to duplicate and use all or part of the information contained on this page. Suggested Citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Child Health USA 2006. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2006.