Monitoring the Future

Smoking among teenagers has fallen to its lowest level since ISR’s Monitoring the Future survey began tracking substance use among youth 38 years ago. The drop was significant for all three grades studied—8th, 10th, and 12th. Across the three grades, the percentage of respondents who smoked in the previous 30 days dropped from 11.7 percent in 2011 to 10.6 percent in 2012, Reuters reported. The ISR researchers who conducted the study credited a 62-cent per pack 2009 increase in the federal cigarette tax as a likely factor contributing to the drop in smoking. Susan Liss, executive director for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, also praised “well-funded tobacco prevention and cessation programs that include mass media campaigns, strong smoke-free laws, and effective regulation of tobacco products and marketing.” But, Liss added, “We cannot be satisfied when 17 percent of high school seniors still graduate as smokers, putting them at risk for debilitating diseases and premature death.”