PHOENIX — There has been a significant reduction in the amount of Arizona teenagers who use tobacco products today compared to three years ago, according to Arizona’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey.
Since 2013, the state has seen a 30 percent drop in the number of high school students who smoke cigarettes, equating to approximately 13,000 teenagers.
“There is a lot of messaging out there to try and get teens to either not start using or to stop using if they have started,” Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, said.
According to the survey, traditional tobacco products are becoming increasingly unpopular among teens. However, Christ said more high school students are using electronic cigarettes at an alarming rate.
As head of the state’s health department, Christ warned the verdict is not out yet on the health impacts of electronic cigarettes, so it is important to keep them away from teens.
“We don’t know what types of chemicals are in there so evaluating the actual health impact of all of the other things is difficult but we do know that we always recommend that kids do not start using nicotine,” she said.