Teens & Risky Behavior

By Erika Edwards

Published 06/12 2014 12:16PM

Updated 06/12 2014 12:20PM

(NBC News)  A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds teens are smoking less, but still engaging in other risky behaviors.

The new survey includes data on more than 13,000 high school students.

While they're smoking fewer cigarettes, teenagers are getting nicotine in other products, like hookahs, e-cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco.

The percentage of sexually active teens declined from 38 percent 20 years ago to just over a third last year, but condom usage is also down, a trend CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden attributes to messages about safe sex "getting lost."

"Unfortunately, there may be a sense that, well, there's treatment for HIV so it's not such a terrible problem," he says.  "An HIV infection is a life-long infection, so we still really emphasize the importance of increasing condom use."

Television watching is down, but replaced by a huge increase in recreational computer time. 

Nearly half of teens are staring into a gadget more than three hours a day, including times when their eyes should be on the road.

About 40 percent of teens admitted to texting while driving.

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