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Youth smoking rates down


UNDATED (WSAU)  Smoking is at an all-time low by Wisconsin’s middle-and-high school youngsters. That’s according to an annual survey released yesterday by two state agencies.

13-percent of high school students say they’ve smoked cigarettes – and two-and-a-half percent of middle school youngsters also admit to it. That’s down from the previous survey in 2010, which showed that 5-percent more high school students smoked, as did one-and-a-half percent more middle schoolers.

The new numbers come from the 2012 Wisconsin Youth Tobacco Survey conducted by the state departments of Public Instruction and Health Services. It shows that the numbers of smokers are way down from 2000 – when 33-percent of high school youngsters admitted smoking, along with 12-percent of middle school students. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids says there’s been a welcome decline – and it means that about 200,000 fewer Wisconsin children will become smokers as adults.