Data shows tobacco use trending downward among Oklahoma students

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The most recent Youth Behavior Risk Survey (YRBS) shows a 50% decrease in teens trying out cigarettes, among other stats.

The YRBS also shows the following:

  • A 20% decrease in teens who texted or emailed while driving
  • Approximately half the student population reported signs of depression

“We know that the pandemic added to mental health struggles facing Oklahoma students,” said Joyce Marshall, the Director of the Maternal and Child Health Service for OSDH. “This data helps shed light on areas where we need to provide more resources and programs for youth and their parents, and areas where we are having a real impact.”

State Education Officials say the survey results allow the OSDH and partners to plan and implement youth-focused health programs effectively.

“The survey monitors a wide range of important indicators, such as, injury and violence, tobacco use, alcohol and other drug use, sexual behaviors, diet and physical activity, and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs),” said Alicia Lincoln, Child & Adolescent Health Administrative Programs Manager for OSDH.

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