Florida Tobacco Control
Program Successful In Reducing Teen Smoking
The Florida Department of Health released the results of a
study of 20,000 Florida teens last week that shows a remarkable
decrease in teen smoking over the past year.
The number of teens who said they were smokers dropped from 23.3% to
20.9%, which translates into about 31,000 middle school
and high school students.
Among middle school students, cigarette use fell from 18.5 percent to 15.1 percent. Overall
tobacco use among teens, which includes cigars and smokeless
tobacco, dropped from 35.5 percent to 33.3 percent.
The study also noted that the number of high school students who said they
had never used tobacco and did not plan to increased by 25%.
Governor Jeb Bush (R) said, "Thus far, the results show the
program is working. Fewer teens are smoking. More will live
healthier and longer lives."
But the Florida House voted last
week to scrap the $70 million program. Several key legislators
expressed skepticism about the program's effectiveness.
"What's going on there is absolutely criminal," said Stan
Glantz, a professor of medicine at UC San Francisco. "In nine
months, they have gotten better results on reducing teen smoking
than anyone in the world."
The Florida tobacco control program spends almost two-thirds of
its $70 million budget on educational partnerships with teens,
youth cessation programs, and an 8,000 member advocacy group
called Students Working Against Tobacco.
Source: LOS ANGELES TIMES, (3/20/99) "Lawmakers Try To Gut Apparently Successful Anti-Smoking Campaign,"
Mike Clary, p. A14.
| Attorneys General MSA
| about US