(WASHINGTON) — Marijuana use among high school students is on the rise while cigarette use remains the same, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual survey of teens and risky behavior.
“For the first time since CDC began collecting YRBS data in 1991, current marijuana use among U.S. high school students was more common than current cigarette use,” says Howell Wechsler, the director of the CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health.
The 2011 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) finds that 23 percent of teens admitted to smoking pot compared to 18 percent who reported smoking cigarettes.
And the disparity isn’t because more teens are saying no to tobacco.
“YRBS results also show that from 2009 to 2011, there’s been no significant progress in reducing cigarette use, while marijuana use among high school students is on the rise,” says Wechsler.
While “there’s no one simple solution to reducing the prevalence of health risk behaviors among high school students,” he says “how well we address these behaviors now will greatly impact the overall picture of health for our nation’s youth in the future.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Tal Kopan and Evan Perez, CNN
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