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Today's Teenagers Are Smoking and Drinking Less Than Their Parents Did

Teenagers are smoking far less and drinking alcohol at almost half the rate as they were in 2002.

by VICE Staff
22 June 2017, 9:35am

Photo via River Donaghey

This article originally appeared in VICE Australia

In addition to no longer having sex, it looks like teenagers are also drinking and smoking far less than their parents' generation, the New York Times reports.

According to the latest numbers from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), just 9.6 percent of Americans between the ages of 12 and 17 reported drinking alcohol in 2015. That's down by almost half from 17.6 percent in 2002. Kids are smoking cigarettes less, too—at 20 percent in 2015, compared to 32 percent in 2002.

SAMHSA's principal deputy administrator, Kana Enomoto, said the dip in numbers is in part due to public-health efforts, like reminding Americans at a young age that smoking is the largest cause of preventable death in the US.

The study, which questioned about 67,000 Americans, could also suggest that teenagers are just a lot healthier than older generations—or maybe they're just getting high off of Instagram likes.

Read: Teens Aren't Smoking Weed Even Though It's Legal, Study Says