"The perceived availability of cigarettes continued a long-term decline in 8th and 10th grade to historic low levels, with a significant decline in 10th grade. (Availability of cigarettes in 12th grade was first asked this year, so trend data are not yet available). After holding fairly steady at very high levels for some years, perceived availability reported by 8th and 10th graders began to decline modestly after 1996, very likely as a result of increased enforcement of laws prohibiting sale to minors under the Synar Amendment and FDA regulations.
"Although availability of alcohol among 12th grade students is near its lowest level recorded since first measured in 1999, at 86% it is still very high.
"Marijuana has been the most consistently available illicit drug and has shown only small variations over the years (see Figure 9-5a). What is most noteworthy is how little change has occurred in the proportion of 12th graders who say that marijuana is fairly or very easy to get. By this measure, marijuana has been readily available to the great majority of American 12th graders (from 80% to 90%) since 1975.
" In 2017, 46% of 8th graders and 63% of 10th graders thought that cigarettes would be fairly easy or very easy for them to get if they wanted some. In 2017 for the first time we asked about availability of cigarettes among 12th graders; 78% reported they would be fairly easy or very easy to get. A growing interest among state and local governments to increase the minimum age to 21 for the purchase of tobacco products suggests that availability may decrease for this age group in the coming years.