CDC Study Finds Schools Have Improved Tobacco Prevention
A new CDC study released Wednesday found that U.S. schools have improved tobacco prevention campaigns for students, but many "scale back the message when it's needed most," the AP/Washington Post reports. The study, conducted last spring among schools and districts nationwide, found that about two-thirds of public schools prohibit "all forms" of tobacco on school property and at off-campus school events, up from 36% in 1994. However, while more than 25% of schools teach health education to students in sixth grade, only 2% teach health education to high school seniors, students "more likely exposed" to tobacco and alcohol. "It's during these high school years that kids are practicing most of these health-risk behaviors," Dr. Laura Kann, the study's lead researcher, said. Health officials say they hope that the study will serve as a "road map" to help schools and districts "understand the areas" of health programs that "need the most attention." Other study findings include:
- About three-fourths of middle and high schools teach violence prevention to students, and about 90% of U.S. states offer training for educators on teaching violence prevention
-- both "significant jumps" since 1994.
- About 75% of middle schools and 98% of high schools have vending machines with unhealthy snacks, and about two-thirds of schools serve students milk high in fat.
- Half of schools require physical education in first through fifth grades, but only 6% require daily physical education classes for high school seniors.
- Two-thirds of schools offer programs for mental health and social services, and more than three-fourths provide crisis intervention for physical, sexual and emotional abuse.
- Almost 100% of schools ban illegal drug use, fighting, weapons and harassment of other students (McClam, AP/Washington Post, 9/19).
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