Cigarette smoking among high schoolers is at a 22 year low according to a new survey released by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Just 15.7 percent of students reported that they smoke, which meets a national Healthy People 2020 objective in the US.
Other national surveys say e-cigarette and hookah use is on the rise, but Dr. Metee Comkornruecha, an adolescent medicine specialist at Miami Children's Hospital says the media has reduced smoking as a whole.
"As a country, there has been a big push with these anti-smoking campaigns," says Dr. Comkornruecha.
One other area of recent concern when it comes to teen behavior is texting and driving. The surveys gathered information on this topic for the first time and found that 41 percent admitted to texting or emailing within the past 30 days while driving.
"We know teen drivers themselves can be very impulsive, can already be to something like accidents," says Dr. Comkornruecha. "Something like this, already poses a bigger problem."
Another conflicting result indicates that high school students are less sexually active, but also wear condoms at a lower rate. Also, teens are watching less TV, but on their computer for non-school related activities more frequently.
Dr. Comkornruecha says improving youth health has to continually be a group effort.
"In the schools, through the parents, they need to inform the kids that the things they see on TV, the things they see on ads, while they look harmless, do have things that can cause harm."
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