Today's teens choose less risky behaviors

June 10, 2006

A new study shows that U.S. teens today are less likely to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes or have sex than teens 15 years ago.

The Los Angeles Times said the study found that tobacco use among teens has declined to 54 percent, compared with 70 percent in 1991, and alcohol use has dropped from 82 percent in 1991 to 74 percent last year.

The study was released Thursday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study also found a drop in teens that reported having sexual experiences, from 54 percent to 47 percent.

The survey, which is conducted every two years, involves nearly 14,000 public and private high schools in 40 states.

The study did not examine the reasons why today's teenagers are making healthier choices, the Times said. Some have credited the rise in education programs on health issues including topics like AIDS.

However, some behaviors have not declined. The study found that since 1991, the number of teens reportedly having smoked marijuana went up 7 percent, and the use of steroids has doubled.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Millennials less sexually active than Gen-X peers: study

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