U.S. teens' use of alcohol, cigarettes at 40-year low

U.S. teens' use of alcohol, cigarettes at 40-year low

It is heartening to know that the consumption of alcohol or smoking of cigarettes is at an all time low in at least 40 years, amongst teenagers although, there has not been any significant reduction in the usage of illicit drugs like marijuana and ecstacy.

Growing peer disapproval may be a top factor in the drop in drinking and smoking in 2014 according to a recent study.

"There is a lot of good news in this year's results, but the problems of teen substance use and abuse are still far from going away," said Lloyd Johnston, principal investigator of the study.

Just 41 percent of teens surveyed said they drank alcohol, down from a peak of 61 percent who reported doing so in 1997. Binge drinking was also down sharply, the study found.

Just 8 percent of teens surveyed said they smoked cigarettes, down from a peak of 28 percent, also reached in 1997.

The use of both alcohol and cigarettes was the lowest in the history of the survey, which began in 1975.

Teens also reported less use of some popular drugs, like synthetic marijuana and ecstasy.

But their use of heroin, cocaine and crystal methamphetamine was unchanged in the past two years.

Marijuana, which has been stubbornly popular among the age group, saw its first marginal decline in use after five years of continuous increases.

About 5.8 percent of high school seniors in 2014 reported being a daily or near-daily marijuana user, down from 6.5 percent the previous year.
 

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