You're More Likely To Find A Teen With A Phone In Their Hand Than A Cigarette!

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We have good news and bad news. Every year the Center for Disease Control and Prevention conducts a survey about Youth Risk Behavior, and this year's findings are very interesting.

Let's start with the positives! There's a major decrease in teen smoking. Only 15.7 percent of teens admitted to smoking cigarettes at least once in the 30 days before the survey, which is an improvement from when the CDC began conducting this annual survey in 1991. Back then, 27.5 percent had smoked.

The bad news? They've appeared to replace one bad habit with another: texting and driving. A whopping 41 percent of teens admits to texting or sending an email while operating a vehicle. Teens who were in 12th grade were more likely to text and drive (60.3 percent) compared to 10th graders (26.5 percent).

Another startling stat is that 21.9 percent of students rode in a car one or more times with someone who had been drinking alcohol. Although the number is still high, it has gone down a lot since '91, when the rate was nearly 40 percent. To learn more about the dangers of teen drinking, check out our alcohol poisoning story from last October.

Here are more statistics from the survey:

  • Females (21 percent) were more likely to experience cyberbullying than their male peers (8.5 percent). In total, 14.8 percent of teens nationwide had been bullied electronically.
  • Twenty-nine percent of youth surveyed confessed to feeling sad or hopeless nearly every day for two weeks.
  • During the 30 days before the survey was conducted, 34.9 percent of students had at least one alcoholic beverage.
  • When it came to marijuana, 40.7 percent had tried the drug once or more.
  • Twenty-seven percent of students drank at least one soda a day, compared to 34 percent in 2007.

Did any of these statistics surprise you? How do you talk to your teens about preventing risky behaviors? Share in the comments!