TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Fewer New Jersey teenagers are having sex, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and doing drugs, according to a student health risk survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But Dr. Stephanie Zaza, the CDC’s adolescent and school health director, cautioned Wednesday against declaring victory in any of those areas.
“What we see are still high percentages in some cases of students having pretty risky behavior,” she told WCBS 880’s Levon Putney.
The number of students who say they were bullied hasn’t changed since 2009, and many students continue to talk or text on cellphones while driving.
The 2013 results show 39 percent of students surveyed had at least one drink of alcohol in the last 30 days, down from 56 percent in 2001.
Thirty-nine percent of students in 2013 said they had sexual intercourse, down from 47 percent in 2001. Of those, 41 percent did not use condoms.
The percentage of students classified as overweight or obese has not changed significantly since 2001.
The survey results provide background information so that parents know “what’s going on in their kids’ environment” and can have “an honest conversation with them,” Zaza said.
Zaza said the data could also help politicians and advocates raise money or push for government funding to tackle any growing problems.
The survey was completed by 1,701 students in 31 high schools across New Jersey.
Zaza said the survey will begin to track electronic cigarette use next year.
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