The latest numbers are in. They're grim. Take a seat. Take a deep breath. Prepare yourself for what we're about to tell you. Parents of America, we regret to inform you: only 5% of your teens are daily smokers. What the fuck is going on?

The latest government report, via the LAT:

Last year, only 5% of high school sophomores said they had smoked cigarettes daily in the last 30 days, compared with 18% of sophomores who were smoking daily at one point in the 1990s. The numbers have also plunged for eighth-graders and high school seniors, hitting their lowest point since the surveys began.

High school sophomores are what, 15? At that age, the traditional red-blooded American teen has historically already adopted a favorite brand of cigarette and a favorite insouciant pose to strike while smoking. Why, in my day I'd estimate, oh, 18% of those kids were smoking up a storm. (And the remaining 82% were exclusively liars and nerds!) And now it's 5%? Five. That is disturbingly close to "zero." What the fuck are the rest of America's teens doing during and after school?

Bath salts.

[LAT. Photo: Flickr]