Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Virginia State News

January 17, 2013

Va. youth smoking rates hit lowest level in decade

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A statewide effort to reduce smoking among Virginia youths is paying off as high school and middle school rates have fallen to their lowest levels in a decade, a report released Thursday shows.

The number of middle school students who smoke regularly declined 70 percent, from 10.6 percent in 2001 to 3 percent during the 2011-2012 years, the Virginia Youth Tobacco Survey shows.

During the same period, the smoking rate for high school students dropped from 28.6 percent to 13 percent, a decline of more than 55 percent.

The national smoking rate for high school students is an estimated 18.1 percent, according to the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The state study surveyed more than 2,600 public middle school and high school students on their tobacco use, attitudes toward tobacco use and advertising, accessibility of tobacco products and other topics. It was conducted in cooperation with Virginia Commonwealth University's Survey and Evaluation Research Laboratory.

Gov. Bob McDonnell and Health and Human Resources Secretary Dr. Bill Hazel attributed Virginia's declining rates to efforts by the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth to reduce youth smoking.

"The Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth has made remarkable achievements in its efforts to keep kids from smoking in the past 10 years," Hazel said in a news release.

Marty Kilgore, the foundation's executive director, said the survey's findings show that tobacco prevention works, and that Virginia youths are choosing healthy lifestyles. But he said tobacco prevention must continue because new students are constantly reaching the age where they are at risk for becoming regular smokers.


Online: Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth:

Text Only
Virginia State News
West Virginia State News
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament
Sister Newspapers' News