CDC: Cigar and Hookah Smoking Up--Among High School Students

November 15, 2013 - 4:59 PM
Hookah

(AP Photo/John Froschauer)

(CNSNews.com) - Fewer American high school students smoked cigarettes in 2012 compared to 2011, according to a study released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But, at the same time, more high school students were smoking cigars, pipes, electronic cigarettes and hookahs.

Overall, 23.3 percent of high school students (grades 9-12) said they had used a tobacco product at least once in the 30 days before they were surveyed in 2012, said the study published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. That was down from the 24.3 percent who said they had used a tobacco product at least once in the same survey in 2011.

But while the percentage of high school students smoking cigarettes dropped from 15.8 percent in 2011 to 14.0 percent in 2012, the percentage of high school students saying they used some other means to consume a tobacco product increased.

The percentage of high school students who said they had smoked cigars rose from 11.6 percent in 2011 to 12.6 percent in 2012. The percentage saying they had smoked a pipe roe from 4.0 percent to 4.5 percent. The percentage saying they had used an electronic cigarette rose from 1.5 percent to 2.8 percent. And the percentage saying they had smoked a hookah rose from 4.1 percent to 5.4 percent.

Cigar, pipe, electronic cigarette and hookah smoking increased among both male and female high school students according to the CDC.

Among male high school students, cigar smoking climbed from 15.7 percent in 2011 to 16.7 percent in 2012; pipe smoking climbed from 5.1 percent to 5.8 percent; electronic cigarette smoking climbed from 2.3 percent to 3.7 percent, and hookah smoking climbed from 4.8 percent to 6.2 percent.

Among female high school students, cigar smoking climbed from 7.4 percent in 2011 to 8.4 percent in 2012; pipe smoking climbed from 2.8 percent to 3.2 percent; electronic cigarette smoking climbed from 0.7 percent to 1.9 percent; and hookah smoking climbed from 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent.

“The findings in this report indicate that during 2011-2012 significant increases occurred in current use of nonconventional tobacco products, such as electronic cigarettes and hookahs, among middle school and high school students,” said the CDC report.

“These findings indicate that more efforts are needed to monitor and prevent the use of both conventional and nonconventional tobacco among youths,” said the report.

The CDC report points to “interventions” suggested by the Surgeon General and the World Health Organization to curtail tobacco use.

“Interventions include increasing the price of all tobacco products, implementing 100 percent comprehensive smoke-free laws and policies in workplaces and public places, warning about the dangers of all tobacco use with tobacco use prevention media campaigns, increasing access to help quitting, and enforcing restrictions on all tobacco products advertising, promotion and sponsorship,” says the report.

“Full implementation of comprehensive tobacco control programs at CDC-recommended funding levels, in coordination with FDA regulation of tobacco products,” says the report, “would be expected to result in further reductions in tobacco use and changes in social norms regarding the acceptability of tobacco use among U.S. youths.”