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Teens More Willing to Lie to Researchers About Their Smoking/Drug Use
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Youths claim their smoking and drug abuse declined again this year, concluded a federal study, in line with evidence of marked progress over the last decade in persuading teens to avoid cigarettes and illicit substances. "We discussed it in health class, while our teacher was out on a smoke-break," said one teen, "We decided to tell 'em whatever it sounded like they were looking for. Maybe if we can convince them that there isn't a problem, they'll pick on something else!"

"My buddies and I told them that we 'took a stand'!"
-- 16-year-old Boy
The admitted smoking rate among younger teens is half what it was in the mid-1990s, and drug use by that group is claimed to be down by one-third, says the study, prepared for the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Even more dramatic lies have been told by older teens. "My buddies and I told them that we 'took a stand'," laughed one 16-year-old, "You shoulda seen them! They were all 'good for you' and 'wow, that's great'. Hilarious!"

Bush administration officials cited the study as a sign of progress in reducing teen drug abuse. There are now 600,000 fewer teens admitting to drug use than there were in 2001. "We believe that the American teen should be taken at his word, and that word is that the Bush administration's efforts in the war on drugs is working," said John Walters, director of National Drug Control Policy, said at a news conference. "The challenge before us is to follow through."

Close to three-quarters of surveyed 12th graders now say they'd rather not date a smoker, up from about two thirds in 1977. Researchers credited anti-smoking ads among the reasons smoking has fallen out of favor. "Yeah, golly," said one youth, "Those ads really did it for me. I didn't realize how dangerous smoking was until I saw it on TV. I'll never touch another cigarette," she added, giggling.
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