Despite the flood of cash spent on advertisements aimed at preventing minors from lighting up, the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control shows that smoking rates among high school students actually increased to 35 percent in 1999, from 28 percent in 1991. Among all adolescents (ages 12 to 17), more than 1 in 7 (15 percent) admitted to smoking in the past month. But cigarette use among adolescents differs by urbanization level. In 1999, smoking rates for adolescents was lowest in central counties of large metro areas (11 percent) and highest for those living in the most rural counties (19 percent).
In the Midwest, adolescents in central counties of large metro areas were more likely to smoke (15 percent) than those in the central counties of the South, West and Northeast regions (10 percent to 11 percent).
Source: Centers for Disease Control