1991 to 2021 Saw Drop in Cigarette Use Among Adolescents

In HealthDay News
by Healthday

Significant decreases seen in ever, occasional, frequent, and daily use; in 2021, daily use was higher in boys, 12th graders

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Jan. 18, 2024 (HealthDay News) — From 1991 to 2021, there was a large and significant decrease in cigarette use among U.S. adolescents in high school, according to a study published in the December issue of the Ochsner Journal.

Maria C. Mejia, M.D., M.P.H., from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and colleagues used data for adolescents in grades 9 through 12 from 1991 to 2021 from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey to explore trends in cigarette smoking.

The researchers found that among adolescents, all cigarette use, assessed as ever, occasional, frequent, or daily, declined markedly from 1991 to 2021. From 1991 to 2021, ever use decreased from 70.1 to 17.8 percent; occasional use decreased from 27.5 to 3.8 percent; frequent use decreased from 12.7 to 0.7 percent; and daily use decreased from 9.8 to 0.6 percent. Significant decreases were seen from 1991 to 2021 across sex, race/ethnicity, and school grade. Daily use was higher in boys than girls, among Hispanic/Latino and White youth versus Black and Asian youth, and in 12th graders versus ninth, 10th, and 11th graders in 2021.

“Future directions for research include exploring the transition from cigarette use to e-cigarettes/vaping among adolescents and understanding the associated initiating factors and health impacts,” the authors write. “Conducting longitudinal studies that track the smoking behaviors of adolescents into adulthood and exploring life-course impacts and patterns could generate important information for tobacco prevention and control strategies.”

One author disclosed ties to industry, including the publishing industry, as well as being a coinventor on patents for inflammatory markers and cardiovascular disease.

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