Smoking Rates Among High School Students Declines 18% From 2000, Study Finds
Smoking rates among high school students have fallen by almost 18% since 2000, according to preliminary survey results released by the American Legacy Foundation and the CDC, the Washington Post reports. Researchers for the National Youth Tobacco Survey queried 9,661 high school and 6,853 middle school students in 69 schools in 27 states. Students were considered smokers if they had at least one cigarette in the month previous to the survey. The survey found that smoking fell among high school students from 29% in 2000 to 23.8% today, and from 11.2% among middle school students in 2000 to 10.6% currently. The survey also found that student smoking rates declined the most in areas where the "truth campaign" advertisements were highly visible and least in areas where the ads were the least visible, Legacy Foundation President Cheryl Healton said. The truth ads, which are produced by the foundation, focus on the "disease and death" associated with cigarette smoking and allege that cigarette companies attempt to conceal smoking's risks from young people. Michael Pfeil, a vice president for Phillip Morris, said his company was "pleased" with the survey results and that his company's antismoking campaign may have helped, as well. Phillip Morris' antismoking campaign was recently criticized by the Legacy Foundation, which claimed the ads subliminally promoted smoking among teenagers (Kaufman, Washington Post, 9/19).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.