Tobacco use appears to be on the increase in the United States, with teenagers leading the way, reports USA Today.
The disturbing trend is being seen after nearly a decade when teen smoking was on the decline, the report said quoting a national survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The survey said about 23 percent of high school students reported lighting up in the 30 days before the 2005 survey, up slightly from the previous report in 2003.
The report said despite a grassroots war against youth smoking, the tobacco industry has managed to fight smoking opponents at every step. The report said the industry has often found support from state legislatures to film studios. The legislatures in the states which won billions from the tobacco industry in the 1990s to fund anti-smoking programs have spent little of that money so far in that campaign.
If the current trend continues, the American Cancer Society warns tobacco will kill as many as 1 billion people worldwide in this century.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International