Teen smoking plunges

The number of teenage smokers in Germany has been halved in the past decade, with less than 12 percent of 12 to 17-year-olds lit up regularly in 2011 according to governmental research published on Friday.

Teen smoking plunges
Photo: DPA

The Federal Centre for Health Education (FCDF) released the figures showing a noted decline between the years of 2001 and 2010 – with less than 12 percent of young people in the 12-17 age bracket identified themselves as smokers, down from 28 percent.

Several factors seem to be behind the drop in young smokers according to the FCDF, such as the nationwide anti-smoking campaign in 2003, climbing tobacco taxes and more schools banning on-campus cigarette breaks.

An increasing number of pubs and bars have also banned smoking indoors, which on a practical level have made it more difficult for young people to smoke socially.

The study also showed that while the number of young smokers has dropped, the amount of youths in the same age group who claim never to have tried a cigarette nearly doubled in the past decade.

In 2001, 40.5 percent of youths questioned by the FCDF said they had never tried one. In 2010, this figure was 70.8 percent.

“Smoking is now seen as expensive and uncool,” said governmental health spokesman Jens Spahn.

DPA/The Local/jcw

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