Youth smoking takes a dip in Island County

Results from the Healthy Youth Survey conducted in 2012 found that the amount of youths who stated they had smoked a cigarette in the last 30 days decreased on both a state and county level.

Fewer young people are smoking cigarettes in Island County, according to recently released data from the Healthy Youth Survey.

In addition, Island County businesses have improved their compliance with not selling to people under the age of 18 years, decreasing non-compliance rates from 13.6 percent in 2011 to 4.2 percent in 2012. Non-compliance rates increased in Washington State in 2012 to 15.6 percent.

“These are positive signs for Island County in the work to prevent tobacco use among our youth,” said Roger Case, MD, Island County Health Officer. “This means that we are on the right track with helping prevent tobacco use among our youth.”

According to the State of Washington Department of Health, 45 children start smoking cigarettes every day. About 50 percent of Washington adult smokers had their first cigarette by age 14, and 70 percent of them were smoking on a regular basis by the time they left high school. Tobacco use is known to cause 90 percent of lung cancer deaths, and 45 percent of heart disease deaths in people under 65 years of age, among other health problems, Case said.

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