More than one in five US high school students smoke

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More than one in five US high school students smoke, putting

themselves at risk of disease and premature death, health authorities

said Thursday.

The smoking rate of 23 percent among US adolescents is higher than in

the adult population, of whom 18.1 percent smoke, according to the

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Nine out of ten smokers tried their first cigarette by age 18," said

Tim McAfee, director of the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health.

"We must do more to prevent our youth from using tobacco products, or

we will see millions of them suffer and die prematurely as adults."

Smoking accounts for one in five US deaths annually, taking more than

480,000 lives.

The CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report said more than 90

percent of teenagers using a tobacco product were smoking cigarettes,

cigars, hookahs or pipes.

About 4.5 percent said they had in the past month smoked e-cigarettes,

which are devices that electrically heat a flavored nicotine liquid

into a vapor that can be inhaled.

Nearly half (46 percent) of all high school students said they had

used a tobacco product at least once in their lifetime. Cigars and

cigarettes were the most common.

The US surgeon general said last year that unless youth smoking rates

declined, 5.6 million people currently aged 0 to 17 will die early

from a cigarette smoking-related illness.

According to US government data, smoking costs the economy more than

$289 billion a year in medical care and lost productivity.

Credit: AFP

Kofi Oppong Kyekyeku

I am a Ghanaian Broadcast Journalist/Writer who has an interest in General News, Sports, Entertainment, Health, Lifestyle and many more.

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