Up in Smoke

Teen tobacco use isn't falling so fast anymore

The surest way to stop smoking tobacco? Never start. That's why the U.S. government and independent groups have spent millions to inform teens how lethal the habit can be. The efforts have caused youth tobacco use to drop almost every year since 2000. (Rates are now 7.1% for middle schoolers and 23% for high schoolers.) But progress is slowing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were no declines in tobacco use among middle school students from 2009 to 2011; high school rates have leveled off too. Some slowdown is inevitable as overall rates trend toward zero....

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