Fewer teens are using tobacco, alcohol and painkillers. A new report by the National Council on Drug Abuse shows prevention efforts are having a positive impact on keeping teens off hard drugs, cigarettes and alcohol. The same study showed rates of marijuana use stayed pretty much level in 2014, but the public perception of weed has also softened in recent years. Over the past five years, daily cigarette smoking among teens has seen a huge drop of nearly 50 percent. About three-percent of 10th graders reported smoking cigarettes in 2014, down from around six-percent five years ago.
Despite the promising stats on traditional cigarettes, two other studies released this week show a big jump in the number of teens using electronic cigarettes. The battery-powered devices deliver nicotine as a vapor, rather than smoke. Lawmakers and public health professionals are calling for more information and regulation of the so-called e-cigarettes.