Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

More Teens Are Snuffing Out the Smoking Habit

WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Annie Finnegan

Aug. 24, 2000 -- For the first time, there is an overall decline in teen-age smoking rates, but not everyone is getting the message. In a CDC report released Thursday, the rate of "current" smoking -- that, is smoking at least one day a month -- declined nearly 2% between 1997 and 1999 for all teen-agers. But that's the good part.

Terry Pechacek, PhD, associate director for science at the Office of Smoking and Health at the CDC, tells WebMD that while they're encouraged to see an overall decline, their delight is tempered since the declines don't carry across all gender, age, or race groups. Also, the decreases only bring certain groups of students back to where they were before. Pechacek says the biggest declines -- nearly 6% -- are among ninth grade students, after nearly a decade of increases. So even with the decline in 9th grade, the current smoking rate of nearly 35% equals the rate in 1995, and is still 7% over the rate in 1991.

The news for older students -- and females -- is worse. "We're not seeing the same positive pattern in the 12th grade," says Pechacek. "And there's less positive trends in the 10th and 11th grade."

For females, smoking rates have remained virtually the same between 1997 and 1999 while male-smoking rates declined 3%. Hispanic females smoking rates declined nearly 2%, while white females rates declined almost 1%. Black females smoking rates inched up.

The same report shows other trends worth noting. Over 70% of young people have tried smoking at least once, the same as a decade ago. But the report doesn't show comparable rates between 1997 and 1999 for "frequent" smoking -- smoking at least 20 days a month. That rate for all genders and races jumped 4% during the decade. "What this is suggesting to us," says Pechacek "is more students than ever have already begun to use tobacco more frequently and are faced with a nicotine addiction problem. To get them off tobacco will require a more comprehensive and extended effort." There are plenty of organizations out there to help both students and parents do just that.

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
mother and daughter talking
child brushing his teeth
Sipping hot tea
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
rl with friends
tissue box
Child with adhd