July 29, 2014

Youth smoking at all-time low

Youth smoking has reached an all time low in Wisconsin. “We are having ongoing success in reducing the numbers of young people who smoke,” said Dr. Henry Anderson, State Health Officer. “Tobacco is the number one cause of preventable disease in Wisconsin, so we must continue reaching out to our children to help them avoid a lifetime of addiction and disease, and the possibility of premature death.”

High school smoking dropped from 17.7% in 2010 to 13.1% in 2012 and middle school smoking dropped from 3.9% to 2.5% during the same time frame, according to Wisconsin Youth Tobacco Survey. The study, conducted in the spring of 2012 in Wisconsin, included 40 high schools and 42 middle schools.

“The investment the legislature has made over the last 12 years is paying off, and they should feel very good about it,” said Maureen Busalacchi, executive director of SmokeFree Wisconsin. “I think this next budget they ought to increase the amount of money they’re putting in for tobacco prevention and control, because it’s working.”

The survey is conducted by a partnership between the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.