Smoking is declining sharply among American teens. A report also disclosed that the recent sharp increases in the use of the drug ecstasy are slowing, heroin use decreased, and a gradual decline in use of inhalants continued in 2001. Decreases in cigarette smoking were also observed.
These important declines in teen smoking did not just happen by chance. A lot of individuals and organizations have been making concerted efforts to bring down the unacceptably high rates of smoking among our youth.
"Overall, drug use among America's teenagers has remained level or declined, and that's good news. But we must remain vigilant to the threats that heroin, ecstasy, marijuana, alcohol and other dangerous drugs pose to our youth," Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said. Thompson added that "the finding that fewer teenagers are smoking is very encouraging as more teens are making smart choices that will help them avoid tobacco-related health threats."
Glen Hanson, acting director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, added: "We hope that our concerted effort to give adolescents science-based information about the health risks of ecstasy and other drugs will contribute to a further reduction in the use of these drugs." "It's time to make the anti-drug effort catch up to the anti-tobacco effort," he added. But alcohol remains the most popular drug with teens, though a slight reduction was reported in 2001.