Teenage smoking cut in half in Ireland

As a country with a history of heavy smoking and drug use among youth, Ireland embraces the results of a new study indicating a substantial drop in teen smoking. Youth smoking rates fell from 21.1% in 1998 to 11.9% in 2010. Similarly, the percentage of teenagers that take their first puff at age 13 or younger has decreased significantly. While in 2002 more than 60% of Irish teenagers had their first cigarette at age 13 or younger, by 2010 that number had fallen to just under 50%. These positive developments were presented at the Irish Cancer Society’s X-Hale Film Festival in Dublin, which featured 43 short clips produced by youth groups that drew attention to the harms of smoking.