Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of US death, disease, and disability. Every day, nearly 3,500 kids under the age of 18 try a cigarette for the first time and 850 of them become daily smokers. Each year, more than 440,000 people die and 8.6 million suffer from serious illnesses from smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke. In addition, tobacco use costs the U.S. $193 billion annually in direct medical expenses and lost productivity.
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Percentage of U.S. Adolescents Who Smoke Cigarettes
Measure Calculation: Measure is a weighted percentage calculated from the national YRBSS or individual state or territorial surveys.
Cigarette smoking is defined as smoking cigarettes on at least one day during the 30 days before the survey.
Inclusion Criteria: State or territorial results are provided when those areas participated in the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), asked the question about current cigarette use, and achieved a high enough response rate for the data to be weighted.
Race/Ethnicity: The YRBSS questionnaire includes one question about race and a separate question about ethnicity. The values are combined during tabulation. Any student who says he is Hispanic is included in that group for tabulation purposes. All other groups are non-Hispanic.
The YRBSS is a biennial survey that monitors priority health-risk behaviors and the prevalence of obesity and asthma among youth and young adults. The YRBSS includes a national school-based survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state, territorial, tribal, and district surveys conducted by state, territorial, and local education and health agencies and tribal governments.
The YRBSS monitors six categories of priority health-risk behaviors among youth and young adults including:
• behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence;
• tobacco use;
• alcohol and other drug use;
• sexual behaviors that contribute to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection;
• unhealthy dietary behaviors; and
• physical inactivity.
In addition, the YRBSS monitors the prevalence of obesity and asthma.
This measure is calculated by the Division of Adolescent and School Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC from the YRBSS.