Citizens for Clean Air and Clean Lungs

Elementary School Children Using Tobacco
Elementary school children are using drugs, including cigarettes and alcohol, according to two recently released drug-abuse surveys.

A national drug-abuse survey, the first national drug survey to include fourth through sixth grade students, found that 7% of sixth graders said they smoked cigarettes in the last month, and nearly 2% of fourth graders said they smoked cigarettes in the last month.

The survey was conducted by the National Parents' Resource Institute for Drug Education (PRIDE), an Atlanta-based organization that counsels parents and teachers on ways to deter drug use in children.

The 1998 Washington State Survey of Adolescent Health Behaviors, found that 25% of the state's 76,000 sixth graders have tried cigarettes and 40% have tried alcohol.

"It's quite striking, and it's confirmed both in the data and in the people we talk to who work with the kids," said Richard Brandon, project director for Washington Kids Count. "It was surprising to us in terms of the magnitude."

USA TODAY, (4/8/99) "Washington", p. A11.
New York Times, (4/8/99) "Drug Survey of Children Finds Middle School a Pivotal Time", CHRISTOPHER S. WREN

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