High schoolers now report using marijuana more than cigarettes or cigars, according to a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released Oct. 15.
In 1997, 21% of high schoolers said they had smoked a cigarette or cigar on one or more days in the last 30 days. By 2013 (the newest data available), only 7% said they had, representing a remarkable 64% decrease.
For marijuana in 1997, only 4% of students said they had used it once or more in the last 30 days. By 2013, that had climbed to 10%.
The authors of the CDC report said this increase in use was probably at least in part because only 40% of 12th graders now think smoking marijuana regularly is harmful — roughly the same percentage as in the 1970s. Fear of marijuana seemed to peak in 1991, when 79% of 12th graders said regular use was harmful, but it’s been declining ever since.