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June 18, 2014

Drinking, smoking, violence, and sexual activity are down among New Jersey high school students, while nothing much has changed when it comes to marijuana use and bullying, according to the biannual New Jersey Student Health Survey. The NJSHS, which is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state agencies, surveys high school students each year to determine health habits.

Although 39 percent of high school students responded to the survey that they had at least one drink in the previous month, that is down from 56 percent in 2001.

Binge drinking is also down from 33 percent in 2001 to 23 percent in 2013. What’s more, only 6 percent of students said they began drinking before the age of 13, a decline from 33 percent in 2001.

Cigarette use among teenagers is down to 13 percent who said they smoked in the past month. Marijuana use is steady, with 39 percent reporting they had used it one or more times. Use of harder drugs has declined.

Students saying they had been in a fight declined from 35 percent 10 years ago to 22 percent in 2013. Bullying, however, has not changed much, with 15 percent saying they had been victims.

Fewer high school students said they are sexually active, a drop from 47 percent in 2001 to 39 percent in 2013. However, 41 percent of those who are sexually active said they did not use a condom the last time they had intercourse.

The full report is available online.

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