Kentucky dropped to sixth place among surveyed states in 2013 for high school cigarette use, an improvement from the state's first-place ranking in 2011, according to a recently released report from the Centers for Disease Control Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System.
Survey results show that 17.9 percent of Kentucky high school students reported current cigarette smoking, down from 24.1 percent in 2011. Nationwide, the rate is 15.7 percent. The marked drop means Kentucky has met its Healthy Kentuckians 2020 goal of reducing youth smoking to 19 percent or less.
The state is moving toward a goal of reducing Kentucky's smoking rate by 10 percent in the next five years.
In 1997, when the CDC first started tracking student smoking, the rate was 47 percent.