Teens Smoking, Fighting Less, But Texting While Driving More

A survey conducted by the CDC found some risky behaviors, such as teen sex, smoking and violence, have dropped, but others are on the rise.

Teens Smoking, Fighting Less, But Texting While Driving More
Flickr / brokendownlover

‚ÄčA new survey released Thursday offers some good news about high school students.

The Youth Risk Behavior Survey, put out by the CDC, found the rate of smoking, sex, and fighting among high school students has dropped.

The current teen smoking rate is now at 15.7 percent which met the U.S’s national Healthy People 2020 goal of getting adolescent cigarette use below 16 percent. (Via CDC)

Although there is an increase in hookah and e-cigarette use to be concerned about. (Via Flickr / brokendownlover)

The percentage of teens who had been in a physical fight in the last year is also down, dropping from a whopping 42 percent in 1991 to 23 percent in 2013. (Via ABC)

Last but not least, the percentage of high school students who are currently sexually active dropped from 38 percent in 1991 to 34 percent in 2013. (Via WALB)

The study is conducted every two years and has the participation of more than 13,000 U.S. high school students to give more insight to adolescent behaviors. CDC Director Tom Frieden said there’s plenty to get excited about with the survey’s results.

“It’s encouraging that high school students are making better health choices such as not fighting, not smoking, and not having sex.”  (Via CDC)

But not all of the study’s findings were good. Researchers found an increase in texting while driving among high schoolers.

Forty-one percent of students who drove a car in the past 30 days admitted to texting or emailing while driving. (Via WXYZ)

And although the rate of sexual activity has decreased, the rate of condom use has dropped too, going from 63 percent in 2003 to 59 percent in 2013. (Via NBC)

Officials say conducting this survey is extremely helpful in understanding what needs to be done to prevent students from making poor decisions when it comes to their health and safety.

CDC spokeswoman Laura Kahn said in the study’s press release, “We can use these data to help schools, communities, families, and students reduce youth risk behaviors that are still prevalent and to monitor those that are newly emerging."