(HealthDay News) — Overall, the percent of students smoking cigarettes and using tobacco remained steady in 2012, according to a report published in the Nov. 15 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

René A. Arrazola, M.P.H., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data from the 2012 National Youth Tobacco Survey to assess current tobacco product use among U.S. youths.

The researchers found that the prevalence of current tobacco product use was 6.7 percent among middle school students and 23.3 percent among high school students in 2012. Cigars were the second most commonly used tobacco product, behind cigarettes, with prevalence of use at 2.8 and 12.6 percent for middle and high school students, respectively. Electronic cigarette use increased significantly from 2011 to 2012 among both middle school (0.6 to 1.1 percent) and high school (1.5 to 2.8 percent) students. Hookah use increased among high school students, from 4.1 to 5.4 percent, over the same time period, while there were simultaneously significant decreases in bidi (small brown cigarette wrapped in a leaf) and kretek (clove cigarette) use among middle and high school students. Dissolvable tobacco use among high school students also dropped.

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“A substantial proportion of youth tobacco use occurs with products other than cigarettes, so monitoring and prevention of youth tobacco use needs to incorporate other products, including new and emerging products,” the authors write.

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