Smoking among teens plummets

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Smoking among teens plummets by a third over five-year span

By CHRIS LACKNER, The Globe And Mail

August 10, 2004

Smoking among Canadian teenagers has decreased dramatically in the past five years, but experts warn that drop may just mean young people are waiting a bit longer before taking up the habit.

The smoking rate among 15- to 19-year-olds dropped to 18 per cent in 2003 from 28 per cent in 1999, according to a Health Canada survey released yesterday. Teen smoking rates have fallen below that of the general population -- which held steady at approximately 21 per cent -- for the first time in almost a decade.

According to the 2003 Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey, Canada is home to 5.3 million smokers over the age of 15. At 30 per cent, the rate for young adults aged 20 to 24 is the highest for any group.

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