OTTOWA, Ontario, Aug 10, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Canadian officials say smoking among teenagers has decreased dramatically in the past five years, the Globe and Mail reported Tuesday.
However, experts warn the drop may just mean young people are waiting a bit longer before taking up the habit.
Health Canada says the smoking rate among 15- to 19-year-olds dropped to 18 percent in 2003 from 28 percent in 1999.
Teen smoking rates have fallen below that of the general population, which held steady at approximately 21 percent, for the first time in almost a decade.
According to the 2003 Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey, Canada is home to 5.3 million smokers over the age of 15. At 30 percent, the rate for young adults aged 20 to 24 is the highest for any group.
Copyright 2004 by United Press International.