Today’s teenagers seem to be picking up alcohol or cigarettes significantly less often than their peers did in years past. Looking at the data covering the period of 1975 through 2014, the rate of teenagers who tried either dropped to twenty percent of its previous levels.
Researchers reviewing the data conclude that anti-substance abuse campaign messages are working; that the teenagers are understanding and agreeing with the urging to avoid drinking and smoking due to its health impacts.
In the mid 1970s, when high school seniors were interviewed, only five percent stated they did not use any such substances; including drugs as well as alcohol or tobacco. The rate for seniors graduating in 2014 had risen to over twenty-five percent declining to use substances. The same trend of increasing resistance to using those substances was seen across other grade levels who were interviewed for answers. And similar decreases in rates of substance use, or abuse, for the parents of those same students also rose over time.
When checking just for tobacco usage, the change is even more startling. Three in four students in 1976 smoked or at least tried smoking. In 2014, only a third of high school seniors smoked cigarettes. However, the study’s authors worry that e-cigarettes and the legalization of marijuana will impact abstinence rates for future generations of students.
A review of data spanning more than 35 years shows teen alcohol and cigarette use is dropping #HealthStatus
- 1There is an increase in the abstinence from cigarettes and alcohol among high school students.
- 2Marijuana legalization and being taught health benefits, teen use increased over the years.
- 3Teenagers in high school have a lower percentage rate of drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes compared to previous generations.