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No Decline in Tobacco Use Among U.S. Teens

Tobacco continues to be the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the U.S.

There has been no decline in overall tobacco use among middle and high school students in the U.S. since 2011. The use of cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco and pipe tobacco has declined--while the use of nontraditional products such as e-cigarettes and hookah pipes continues to rise. E-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among teens today. Sadly these products remain unregulated.

PositiveTip: No form of tobacco use is safe. Nicotine is an addictive drug that may cause permanent harm to brain development.

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A Quarter of High School Students Use Tobacco

Half of all high school tobacco users used more than one product.

Analysis of the 2013 National Youth Tobacco Survey reveals that almost half of U.S. high school students have tried tobacco and almost 25% currently use it.  More high school boys than girls were current smokers, but was similar in middle school. Electronic cigarettes were tried at least once by 12% of high schoolers, and 3% of middle schoolers.

PositiveTip: Parents should rigorously monitor the forms of tobacco use by their youth--especially emerging products like e-cigarettes.

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Warm-ups Help Prevent Sports Injuries

Warm-ups before practice cut female high school sports injuries by 67%.

Pre-practice warm-ups paid large dividends in female high school soccer and basketball players. When coaches started practice with a prescribed set of warm-up exercises for 20 minutes before practice, noncontact lower-extremity injuries dropped 67% compared to standard warm-ups. These exercises focused on strength, balance, elasticity and agility. This intervention was very economical, too.

PositiveTip: Appropriate warm-up exercises can help reduce the risk of exercise-induced injuries at all ages.

Benefits of Starting School Later in the Morning

In the 1997-98 school year, the Minneapolis School District changed the starting time of its seven high schools to 8:40 AM. and the dismissal time to 3:20 PM. Prior to the change, classes began at 7:15 AM and dismissed at 1:45 PM. Researchers evaluated the student benefits, after this change in hours had been in place for five years.Teen girl sleeping on books.

Attendance rates improved for all 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students in the district. The greatest rate of improvement was for 9th grade students.

The Potential Problem of Kids & Gambling

Have you noticed that gambling is now treated like a sport?

Take a minute to go to the ESPN web site and search for the term “poker”. You'll find that ESPN Poker, is an entire section devoted to the game. Times sure have changed! Not long ago, very few people would have considered poker (a form of gambling) to be classified as a sport.Young boy gambling.