 
In 1997, as part of the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a national schoolbased
Youth Risk Behavior Survey that resulted in 16,262 questionnaires completed by
students in 151 schools. These data are summarized from that survey. For more
information see CDC,
Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance  United States, 1997. MMWR 1998;47(No. SS3).
Lifetime Cigarette Use
 70.2% of students had ever tried cigarette smoking (even one or two
puffs).
Current Cigarette Use
 36.4% of students had smoked cigarettes on >1 of the 30 days
preceding the survey (i.e., current cigarette use).
 White students (39.7%) were significantly more likely than Hispanic
students (34.0%) and black students (22.7%) to report current cigarette use.
Hispanic students (34.0%) were significantly more likely than black students
(22.7%) to report current cigarette use.
Frequent Cigarette Use
 16.7% of students had smoked cigarettes on > 20 of the 30 days
preceding the survey (i.e., frequent cigarette use).
 White students (19.9%) were significantly more likely than Hispanic
students (10.9%) and black students (7.1%) to report frequent cigarette use.
Smokeless Tobacco Use
 9.3% of students had used smokeless tobacco (chewing tobacco or snuff) on >1
of the 30 days preceding the survey.
 Male students (15.8%) were significantly more likely than female students
(1.5%) to have used smokeless tobacco.
 White students (12.2%) were significantly more likely than Hispanic
students (5.1%) and black students (2.2%) to have used smokeless tobacco.
Purchased Cigarettes
 29.8% of students (<18 years of age who reported current
cigarette use) had purchased their cigarettes in a store or gas station
during the 30 days preceding the survey.
 Students in grades 11 (36.7%) and 12 (43.5%) were
significantly more likely than students in grades 9 (17.8%) and 10 (25.7%)
to purchase cigarettes in a store or gas station.
Proof of Age
 Among students reporting current cigarette use, 66.7% of
those <18 years of age who purchased cigarettes in a store or gas station
had not been asked to show proof of age.
 Students in grade 9 (82.8%) were significantly more likely
than students in grades 11 (59.8%) and 12 (54.9%) not to have been asked to
show proof of age.
