Smoking and drinking down among youths, but marijuana use rising

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 2, 2012

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The number of youths smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol continues to decrease, but the use of drugs, such as marijuana, among this age group is rising, according to data released Dec. 14, 2011, by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Researchers surveyed more than 46,000 eighth-, 10th- and 12th-graders from 400 public and private schools on their alcohol, cigarette and drug use.

They found that that 19% of 12th-graders reported smoking a cigarette in the past month, compared with 31% who smoked in 2000

A similar decline was identified among eighth-graders, 6% of whom reported recently smoking in the 2011 survey. The figure was 15% in 2000.

Alcohol consumption also is down among youths, with four in 10 12th-graders reporting drinking in the past month during 2011, compared with one in two in 2000.

Use of marijuana, however, has been rising during the past few years. For the 2011 survey, 23% of 12th-graders said they used the drug in the past month, up from 18% in 2006.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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