CDC reports slow decline in teen tobacco use

The Los Angeles Times “Booster Shots” blog reports, “Nearly 30% of middle and high school boys and nearly 18% of girls used some form of tobacco last year, the federal government said in a published report.”

During “the last decade, there has been a slow decline in tobacco use among middle and high school students, the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.” However, “when compared with other long-term studies, such as the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, the steep rate of decline from 1997 to 2003 has slowed noticeably.”

In a statement, Thomas R. Frieden, director of the CDC, said, “An overall decline in tobacco use is good news, but although four out of five teens don’t smoke, far too many kids start to smoke every day.”

The Huffington Post reports that, according to Frieden, “Most tobacco use begins and becomes established during adolescence. This report is further evidence that we need to do more to prevent our nation’s youth from establishing a deadly addiction to tobacco.”

The Minneapolis Star Tribune “Health Check” blog reports that, “with states struggling with the economic downturn, funding for anti-tobacco campaigns has been drastically reduced or eliminated.”

Reuters reports that in a statement, the CDC said, “Fully funding and implementing comprehensive tobacco-control programs might have further impact on preventing and reducing tobacco use among youths.”

The Time “Healthland” blog quotes Dr. Tim McAfee, director of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, as saying, “We had a very strong emphasis on funding for state programs between 1997 and 2003. What’s happened in the last five years is a disturbing decline in state investments in comprehensive tobacco controlling programs.”

HealthDay points out that “The report is published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.”

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