Rate of Tobacco, Alcohol Use Among San Diego County Teenagers Decreased Over Past Two Years, Report Finds
The number of San Diego County children and teenagers who said that they smoked or consumed alcohol decreased over the past two years, according to a report released yesterday by the county, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The fourth annual report on children's health, which is compiled from statistics and survey results from government agencies and school districts, examined 22 areas in the county. In addition to the decrease in tobacco and alcohol use, the report found that the number of county children and teens who smoked marijuana dropped over the past two years. The report also found that teen pregnancy rates in county decreased from 41.9 pregnancies per 1,000 teens in 1994 to 24.4 pregnancies per 1,000 in 2000. Dr. Roger Lum, director of the county Health and Human Services Agency, attributed the decreases to the work of several not-for-profit organizations that caution teenagers about the dangers of tobacco and alcohol use and advocate abstinence and contraceptive use. He added, "We're definitely very happy with the positive results, but there are still a number of things that are of great concern to us," such as increases in the rate of county children and teens who have considered suicide and the rate killed or injured in traffic accidents (Monteagudo, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/26).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.