Teen risky behavior

More Alabama teens are sexually active than in the late 1980's. The Alabama Adolescent Survey found use of tobacco and drugs by youth also appears to be increasing. University of Alabama researcher Steve Nagy said the study was complied last year by having about 19-hundred 9th and 10th graders in nine counties complete questionnaires privately. Nagy would not identify the counties that participated in the study. But, he said , the results most accurately reflect the beliefs and activities of youth in the southern two-thirds of the state. Pollsters also found many risky behaviors identified in the survey are likely less common in the Tennessee Valley region. Among the other findings: Tobacco use among teens appears to be on the rise. Among girls, about 29 percent reported smoking at least one cigarette in the last month, compared to 26 percent in 1988. About 41 percent of boys had smoked compared to 28 percent in 1988. Drug use is increasing. Last year 32 percent of boys and 17 percent of girls said they had used illegal drugs within the last month.  In 1988, about 15 percent of boys and 10 percent of girls reported having used drugs.