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New Survey Shows Continued Progress in Reducing Youth Smoking; Congress, States Can Accelerate Declines by Implementing Proven Solutions
Date:12/11/2008

WASHINGTON, Dec. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement by Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids:

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080918/CFTFKLOGO)

It is good news for the nation's health that the 2008 Monitoring the Future survey released today finds that smoking rates among 8th, 10th and 12th graders have declined to the lowest levels recorded in this survey for all three grades. However, like other recent surveys of youth and adult smoking, this survey also shows that smoking declines have slowed in recent years. It would be a serious mistake to declare premature victory in the battle against tobacco use when one in five high school seniors still smokes.

This survey confirms that we know how to dramatically reduce tobacco use. But elected officials at all levels must resist complacency and step up the fight against the nation's number one cause of preventable death. It is especially critical that the incoming Administration and Congress provide long-missing national leadership by enacting legislation granting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory authority over tobacco products. Among other things, this legislation would crack down on tobacco marketing and sales to kids.

There is much to celebrate in the Monitoring the Future survey, which was released by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Since peaking in the mid-1990s, smoking rates (the percentage who have smoked in the past 30 days) have declined by 68 percent among 8th graders, 60 percent among 10th graders and 44 percent among 12th graders. These declines are a remarkable public health success story and will translate into improved health, longer lives and lower health care costs for generations to come.

These declines are powerful evidence
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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