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Important Facts for High School Students Reporting Current Use of Tobacco Products


Estimates for tobacco use are based on self-reported use of tobacco products. According to the YTS, tobacco products include cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, pipes, bidis and kreteks. Current use is defined as using any tobacco product on at least one day during the thirty days before the survey.


Number of high school students reporting current use of tobacco products


Number of high school students responding to the YTS survey

Data Interpretation Issues

The YTS survey is only administered every other year; therefore, results are not available on an annual basis. The sample size of the NC YTS is relatively small (fewer than 8,000 surveys are collected each year throughout the state); therefore, estimates are only available for the state and three regions (Western, Central and Eastern). No county or school level estimates are available for this measure.

Since these estimates are based on a sample and not the entire population, the percentage of high school students who are current smokers may differ from the "true" prevalence of that characteristic in the North Carolina population simply by chance. Confidence intervals are reported which take this error into account and present a range in which the "true value" is likely to fall.

For more information on how to interpret confidence intervals, please see:

Why Is This Important?

"Preventing youth from using tobacco is important to reducing the overall smoking rate. Most adults who use tobacco began smoking before the age of 18 years, with the average age of initiation between 12 and 14 years. Smokers typically become addicted to nicotine before they reach age 20. Youth who use other tobacco products (OTPs) are more likely to smoke." - North Carolina Institute of Medicine. Healthy North Carolina 2020: A Better State of Health.

Other Objectives

Healthy North Carolina 2020

State Center for Health Statistics, N.C. Division of Public Health, Telephone: 919-733-4728, Fax: 919-733-8485
North Carolina - A better place to be.
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Content updated: Thu, 19 Jul 2012 10:44:01 EDT