After several years of decline, the teenage smoking rate has held steady for the past few years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.
In its June 27 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the CDC summarized data from its most recent Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which found that cigarette use among teens was consistent between 2003 and 2007, but is still significantly lower than it was 10 years ago.
Teen smoking increased from 27.5 percent in 1991 to 36.4 percent in 1997, the CDC reported. But use declined from 1997 to 2003 to 21.9 percent. Smoking has held steady since 2003, according to the CDC.
The survey did find, however, that "frequent" cigarette use is still on the decline. While frequent use increased from 12.7 percent in 1991 to 16.8 percent in 1999, it declined to 8.1 percent in 2007.
For the survey, the CDC sampled public and private school students in grades 9 through 12 in all 50 states. Sample sizes ranged from 10,904 to 16,296 students. Participating students completed anonymous, self-administered questionnaires that included identically worded questions about cigarette use.