Fewer California Residents Report Smoking Tobacco in 2002, Survey Finds
Survey results released Friday show that 16.6% of California adults smoked "every day" or "some days" in 2002, a decrease of almost one percentage point from the previous year, the Sacramento Bee reports. The 2002 Adult Smoking Prevalence study is based on a telephone survey of about 8,500 adults (Brown, Sacramento Bee, 4/5). The percentage of men who smoke fell from 20.8% in 2001 to 19.3% in 2002, while the percentage of women who smoke remained about the same at 14%, the AP/Contra Costa Times reports. In 2001, 17.3% of all adults reported smoking. A separate survey on youth smoking habits also indicated reduced rates. Among eighth-grade students, 6.4% reported smoking in 2002, compared to 11.7% in 2000, while 14.8% of tenth-grade students reported smoking last year, down from 19.5% in 2000; 22.9% of surveyed twelfth-grade students reported smoking in 2002, down from 24.8% in 2000 (AP/Contra Costa Times, 4/5).
Stanton Glantz, a professor at the University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine, has conducted studies showing "a direct link" between anti-smoking ad campaigns and a decline in the number of smokers in the state, the Bee reports. Glantz also said that higher cigarette costs and smoke-free restaurants have contributed to the state's declining smoking rates (Sacramento Bee, 4/5). Gov. Gray Davis (D) attributed the decrease in smoking in the state to Proposition 99, which he said has allowed the state to spend "hundreds of millions of dollars on tobacco education." He added, "The results are clear: Fewer Californians smoke today and those who smoke are smoking less since the passage of Proposition 99." Department of Health Services Director Diana Bonta said the survey indicates that the state's anti-tobacco effort, including a statewide media campaign, grassroots programs and tobacco tax increases, is "on the right track" (Office of the Governor release, 4/4).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.