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New Survey Shows Slow Decline in Youth Smoking, Troubling Increase in Smokeless Tobacco Use - Congress, States Must Step Up Tobacco Prevention Efforts
Date:12/14/2009

WASHINGTON, Dec. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following is a statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids:

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

The 2009 Monitoring the Future Survey released today by the National Institute of Drug Abuse shows that the nation continues to make gradual progress in reducing youth smoking, but declines have slowed significantly compared to the dramatic gains early in the decade. In especially troubling news, the survey also finds that smokeless tobacco use has increased among 10th and 12th graders in recent years, a period during which tobacco companies have introduced a slew of new smokeless tobacco products and significantly increased marketing for smokeless tobacco.

There is no question that we know how to dramatically reduce youth tobacco use. The use of proven strategies has caused smoking rates (the percentage who have smoked in the past 30 days) to decline by 69 percent among 8th graders, 57 percent among 10th graders and 45 percent among 12th graders since peaking in the mid-1990s. This is a remarkable public health success story. Before the recent increase, youth smokeless tobacco use also declined significantly from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s. However, the much slower progress in recent years is a clear warning to elected officials at all levels that they must resist complacency and redouble efforts to implement proven measures - rather than cutting tobacco prevention programs, as 34 states did this year. It is unacceptable to stand still or risk backsliding in the fight against the nation's number one preventable cause of death. It is also unacceptable that one in five high school seniors still smoke (according to the survey, 20.1 percent of 12th graders, 13.1 pe
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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