A new report that is based on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reveals that cigarette use amongst minors has dropped from 11.9% in 2004 to 8.3% in 2010 (the year with the latest available data), and that of young adults decreased from 39.5% in 2004 to 34.2% in 2010, although a considerable percentage of both minors and young adults are currently still smoking.

The definition of ‘current’ was defined as having smoked at least once in the past month. SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde declared:

“Although some progress has been made in curbing youth smoking, the fact remains that one in 12 adolescents currently smoke and one in three young adults smoke – which means that far too many young people are still endangering their lives. As the recently released Surgeon General’s Report on Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults notes, smoking is the nation’s leading cause of preventable death and we must take every opportunity to prevent kids and young adults of today from becoming the hooked, ailing adult smokers of tomorrow.”

According to figures of the NSDUH report, which was based on 157,524 people aged between 12 to 17 years and 158,794 people between the ages of 18 to 25 years, the percentage of minors who smoked daily decreased from 3.3% in 2004 to 1.9% in 2010, whilst that of daily smoking young adults was also seen to drop from 20.4% in 2004 to 15.8% in 2010.

The percentage of daily young adult smokers who smoked 26 or more cigarettes daily fell from 6% to 3.4% during the 6-year period, whilst those who smoked 5 or less cigarettes daily increased from 24.4% to 28.6% from 2004 to 2010.

SAMHSA aims to prevent illegal tobacco sales to underage youths and cigarette consumption through the Synar Amendment program, a federal and state partnership, which showed in their most recent report that the average national retailer violation rate of tobacco sales has dropped to 9.3%, which is the lowest rate in the programs 14 year-long history.

Written By Petra Rattue