CDC: Youth smoking rate plummets

CDC: Youth smoking rate plummets

With the kids of today being tomorrow's adults, the future looks bright when it comes to reducing cigarette consumption, as the smoking rate among America's youth has reached a 22-year low.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the teen smoking rate in the country is 15.7 percent, based on the latest National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which was first performed in 1991.

There's still room for improvement, though. The CDC poll found that cigar use among male high school seniors stands at 23 percent, a rate that's reduced when compared with similar studies from prior years.

"It's encouraging that high school students are making better health choices," said Tom Frieden, M.D., director of the CDC. "[But] way too many young people still smoke."

He added that there are other risky behaviors that are proving to be a problem, such as teens sending text messages while driving.

As for smoking, many teens may be quitting the habit or not even starting thanks to the examples set by adults. Approximately 1 in 5 Americans smoke cigarettes, the lowest rate in the poll's history, according to CDC data. Some of the most substantial reductions in smoking prevalence have been observed in Alaska. More than 25 percent of residents in the Land of the Midnight Sun smoked in 2008, but that rate has since declined to just under 19 percent, based on a recent poll from Gallup. Rhode Island, North Dakota, Illinois and Nevada also witnessed a sizeable decline in the percentage of residents who smoke.

Omega-3s and smoking
Health experts say that it's never too late to quit, as the health benefits result quickly after stopping, such as improved lung capacity, better blood circulation and lower risk of lung disease. According to the World Heart Federation, omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce the physical harm caused by tobacco use.

Using a fish oil supplement as the source of omega-3s, researchers found in a clinical study that these fatty acids improved arterial stiffness and moderated impairment caused by smoking.

"The cardioprotective effects of omega-3 fatty acids appear to be due to a synergism between multiple, intricate mechanisms involving anti-inflammatory and anti-atherosclerotic effects," said Gerasimos Siasos, M.D., the study's lead researcher from the University of Athens Medical School. 

A fish oil supplement can help with omega-3 fatty acid consumption. Find out more about Omax3, which in clinical studies was found to promote heart health.