teen health

Robin Tate Rockel/Side Effects Public Media

Cigarette smoking has declined among middle and high school students for years. But now, e-cigarette sales are rising, with young people using them at epidemic rates. Public health officials are concerned about the impact – including exposure to addictive nicotine.

To Reduce Teen Pregnancy, Some States Ask Colleges To Provide Sex Ed

Feb 2, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

JACKSON, Miss. — At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, the 11 students in Carol Jussely’s “Essential College Skills” class were talking about sex.

Crammed into school chairs and clustered in groups of three or four, they leaned together to confer and then shouted out answers to trivia questions like, “Fact or fiction: You can’t get pregnant from having sex in a hot tub.”

Less than a quarter of teens have been tested for HIV, according to new research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  


On any given episode of East Los High, the highly addictive teen soap on Hulu that just got a fourth season, you'll see love triangles and heartbreak, mean girls and bad boys, and some seriously skillful dancing. Think a Latino Degrassi meets Gossip Girl meets Glee.

First Lady Nancy Reagan speaking at a "Just Say No" Rally in Los Angeles.
U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

"Just Say No" is not enough anymore, according to a new report from the Trust for America's Health.

The health advocacy non-profit cites research showing that rates of illicit drug use among teens haven’t improved since 1994, though alcohol and tobacco use among teens declined significantly in that time. And, drug overdose death rates among 12- to 25-year-olds have risen dramatically since 2001. The most recent data, which is from 2011-2013, shows overdose death rates had doubled in 18 states, more than tripled in 12 states, and more than quadrupled in five states.

Amy Gastelum/Side Effects Public Media

Teenage sisters Alexis Dick and Kylie Robertson both want to be doctors or nurses when they grow up. Or maybe even obstetricians. (“I want to deliver babies or something like that,” says Alexis.)

But, they know there’s one thing that could derail their dreams of medical careers: getting pregnant in high school.


Some Of The Most At-Risk Teens Are Affluent

Nov 24, 2015
Jullen Jeanneau/cc

Poor little rich kids? Maybe so. Psychologist Suniya Luthar's research shows that very affluent teens suffer from the same degree of troubling mental and behavioral health problems as very low-income kids, as The Atlantic reports. She studied kids whose families earn more than $200,000 and compared their mental health to that of their low-income peers.

To Prevent Addiction In Adults, Help Teens Learn How To Cope

Nov 12, 2015

Addiction is a pediatric disease," says Dr. John Knight, founder and director of the Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research at Boston Children's Hospital. "When adults entering addiction treatment are asked when they first began drinking or using drugs, the answer is almost always the same: They started when they were young — teenagers," said Knight.

Should the Smoking Age Be 21? Some Legislators Say Yes

Oct 14, 2015
Nadja Tatar via Flickr

While a growing number of states have turned their attention to marijuana legalization, another proposal has been quietly catching fire among some legislators—raising the legal age to buy cigarettes.

This summer, Hawaii became the first state to approve increasing the smoking age from 18 to 21 starting Jan 1. A similar measure passed the California Senate, but stalled in the Assembly. And nearly a dozen other states have considered bills this year to boost the legal age for buying tobacco products.

Rebecca Smith / KBIA/Side Effects Public Media

Teens may not be the first demographic to come to mind when thinking about solving the problem of domestic and sexual violence, but for Becky Vermeire, who runs a domestic violence agency in rural Missouri, they are key.

“The way that we are going to prevent [domestic violence] is working with our kids,” Vermeire said. “If we are really going to make a dent in what we are doing for the future, it’s that prevention piece.”


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