SmokingCigarette smoking among 8th, 10th and 12th graders in the U.S. declined over the past year, according to a new report.

The Monitoring the Future Survey showed that smoking among those teens dropped to 11.7 percent from 12.8 percent in 2010.

American Heart Association (AHA) CEO Nancy Brown called the data "exciting news," but said that much work still needs to be done.

"As the survey reveals, teens are using other tobacco products such as hookah water pipes and small cigars at a disturbing rate, and there’s always the chance that cigarette smoking rates among students could stall or be reversed. To prevent this, we continue to strongly encourage state policy makers to better advance highly effective tobacco prevention policies such as increased funding for tobacco control programs, passage of tough smoke-free workplace laws and higher tobacco taxes."

Brown criticized the tobacco industry for "its relentless efforts" to capture the attention of teens and get them addicted to cigarettes at an early age.
"As a result, millions of children will be lured into a lifetime of tobacco use that will cause them to die prematurely from heart disease, stroke or other chronic diseases."

She said the AHA would continue its efforts to eradicate the use of tobacco by young Americans.