CDC Report: Teen Texting while driving overtakes Cigarette smoking in Vice survey


A new survey of risky behaviors among teens found that  more teens are “texting while driving”, though not as many smoke cigarettes as before.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, released today, found that teen cigarette smoking was at its lowest rate recorded since the CDC started its National Youth Risk Behavior Survey in 1991; just 15.7 % surveyed admitted to smoking.

Eclipsing that number is the 40% who reported to having texted while driving a  car within the previous 30 days. The CDC only started collecting data on texting and emailing while driving last year.

“It’s encouraging that high school students are making better health choices such as not fighting, not smoking and not having sex,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a statement, adding that  “way too many young people still smoke” and text while driving.

In the 1991 survey, 27.5% of high school students said they smoked cigarettes. That rate increased to 36.4% in 1997 before starting a steady decline, the CDC said. By 2011, only 18.1% of teenagers reported smoking.

Still, while traditional tobacco smoking goes down, e-cigarettes are on the rise. The rate of students using smokeless tobacco increased from 7.7% in 2011 to 8.8 % in 2013, the CDC said.

Meanwhile, the percentage of students who reported ever having sexual intercourse dropped slightly from 47.4% in 2011 to 46.8% in 2013.

As technology becomes more and more ubiquitous, even in cigarette smoking form, so are its abuses it seems.