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Teen Smoking Rates Decline

The Department of Health Services (DHS) and Department of Public Instruction recently released their joint 2010 Wisconsin Youth Tobacco Survey, which examines youth tobacco use in the state every two years. The smoking rate for high school students dropped from 20.7% in 2008 to 17.7% in 2010, while the middle school rate declined from 4.3% to 3.9%. These results continue to show a downward trend in teen tobacco use considering that the high school smoking rate was 33% in the survey’s 2000 report. DHS notes that nearly 80% of smokers start before the age of 18 and that tobacco use costs the state $4.5 billion annually in health care costs and lost productivity. To view the full high school and middle school reports, click on the link above.