For decades tobacco use was a rite of passage for teens in West Virginia, but a new report released by the WV Department of Health and Human Resources Health Statistics Center, indicates that more kids are choosing to be tobacco-free. The report analyzes data from the 2007 and 2009 Youth Tobacco Survey and compares data from previous years, detailing the use of tobacco, cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, cigars and pipes for middle school and high school students.
“West Virginia has seen limited decreases in adult tobacco use rates, but declines have been dramatic among the youth,” said Dan Christy, director of the health statistics center. “This report also measures never-tobacco use – those students who have never tried or used any form of tobacco. It is a more positive focus for analysis, and never-tobacco use has significantly increased 90 percent among high school
students from 2000 to 2009.”
Director of the Bureau for Public Health’s Division of Tobacco Prevention, Bruce Adkins said, “Raze, the thriving youth-led tobacco prevention initiative, and other sustained youth initiatives continue to change the social norm about tobacco use here in WV. Thousands of WV teens know tobacco use is unhealthy and no longer an acceptable practice.”
The report can be accessed online at www.wvdhhr.org/bph/hsc
. Printed reports may be obtained by calling 304.356.4171.
Marsha A. Dadisman