Major Reduction In Teenage Smoking

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A report documents a reduction of almost 45 percent in youth smoking statewide since 2000, the year that New York began implementing a comprehensive tobacco control program.

"Since the majority of people who become regular cigarette smokers begin during adolescence, the results of this youth survey are very encouraging," said State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D. "Governor Spitzer and I are committed to even stronger smoking prevention efforts as we go forward."

Governor Eliot Spitzer included $85.5 million in state funding in the budget this year for tobacco prevention efforts and directed the Department of Health to conduct the strongest anti-smoking campaign possible to reduce the heavy toll that tobacco use takes on the health of New Yorkers. The state receives an additional $1.7 million in federal funding.

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The Youth Tobacco Survey is taken in even-numbered years among middle school and high school students and reflects trends from 2000 to 2006. Among all middle and high school youth, the prevalence of smoking in 2000 was 19.4 percent. This rate decreased to 10.4 percent in 2006, a 44.8 percent reduction.

"New York's approach to preventing and reducing youth tobacco use has been validated by these findings," said Ursula E. Bauer, Ph.D., M.P.H., director of the State's Tobacco Control Program. "While declines in youth cigarette use in the rest of the country have leveled off or reversed, New York's rates continue a steep decline. We know that tobacco use by young people occurs in a family and community context. By reducing adult tobacco use and dismantling the community supports for tobacco use, we have a direct and lasting impact on our youth."

The State's program takes a broad-based approach to tobacco use prevention, including:

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