Archive for Wednesday, December 1, 1999

Adults should pledge to fight smoking war

Adults in Kansas should do everything within their power to prevent smoking among the state’s youth

December 1, 1999

A new study released by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment on smoking among youngsters in Kansas includes some disturbing information.

The study, "1999 Kansas Youth Tobacco Use Report," says that while use of cigarettes among adults in our state has dipped to an all-time low of 22.7 percent, more than 20 percent of Kansas middle school students regularly are using tobacco products. The study defines middle school students as children 11 to 13 years old.

The study was based on surveys taken of more than 1,100 middle school students last May.

"Tobacco use among our youth has reached epidemic proportions," said Clyde Graeber, secretary of the state department of health and environment.

The good news is that four out of 10 children who smoke say they want to stop.

Adults in Kansas should to everything within their power to help those children quit smoking for good. And those same adults should work to deter other children from taking up the damaging habit.

Surveys on tobacco use among middle school students will be repeated next year and will be expanded to include high school students. The surveys then will be conducted every two years.

Let's work to ensure that the results of future surveys are more positive for our state's young people. Let's pledge to snuff out smoking among our children.

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