Citizens for Clean Air in Apartments

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.

Florida Program Successful

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.

LOS ANGELES TIMES, (3/20/99) "Lawmakers Try To Gut Apparently Successful Anti-Smoking Campaign", Mike Clary, p. A14

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