Smoking and Drinking at a New Low for Teens

SMOKING AND DRINKING RATES HAVE DECLINED --  Data shows that drinking and smoking in general have decreased among teens.

SMOKING AND DRINKING RATES HAVE DECLINED -- Data shows that drinking and smoking in general have decreased among teens.

Zeena Whayeb, Staff Writer

Smoking and drinking rates among U.S. teens has fallen to a new low. About 20 percent of teens in 2015 have reported smoking every day, a dramatic reduction from the 32 percent of teens in 2002. This data came from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, an agency that tracks addiction and mental health issues in the Unites States.

The results have distinguished young Americans from their parents’ generation, which had higher rates of drinking and smoking.

Smoking is the one of the largest cause of preventable death in the United States, killing over 5.4 million people every year.

“It’s disgusting. You’re ruining your life at a young age and I think it’s stupid. It’s just gross.” commented Gracie Defriese, a senior at Central High School.

The use of illegal drugs, like heroin,  also went down slightly, though the change was not significant. The misuse of prescription drugs and abuse, however, is still high in the United States, with over 15 million people reported to misuse prescription drugs.

“Any student that gets caught with tobacco can be issued to court. It’s a crime, same thing with alcohol.” Officer Dotson, the Central High School’s officer, explained. “It’s a criminal offense to drink alcohol under the age of 21 and to smoke tobacco under the age of 18.”

Officer Dotson also stated that smoking and drinking is not a big thing at Central High School, but it is to the United States as a whole. He explained that the laws are there to protect the students’ safety since alcohol takes away one’s senses of being. Under the influence of alcohol, hurting somebody is very likely.

Smoking and drinking can be harmful to the body, but also to those around you. Think carefully about the decisions you make in your life.