Youth smoking down in Nevada

A annual study conducted by the US Centers for Disease Control and the Nevada Department of Education confirms that fewer Nevada high school students obtained cigarettes by purchasing them in stores in 2003.

The Youth Risk Behavior Survey is a self-assessment given to a sample of high school students nationwide.

According to the summary: the percentage of Nevada high school students who attempt to purchase cigarettes in stores dropped by 35% from 2001 to 2003 and the percentage of students who actually purchased cigarettes in stores in the previous month dropped by 46% during that same period.

In addition, fewer Nevada high school students are smoking. In 1993, 28.3% of high school students smoked an entire cigarette before the age of 13. In 2003, only 18.8% of high school students smoked an entire cigarette before age 13. Similarly, the percentage of Nevada high school students who smoked cigarettes on 20 or more days of the last 30 days dropped from 14.4% to 8.8%. Further, the students who smoke are smoking less. The percentage of students who smoked at least two cigarettes on the days they smoked dropped from 20.8 % to 11.8%.

“This is good news, as disease due to smoking is preventable,” said Deputy Attorney General John Albrecht. “Our enforcement activities geared toward preventing minors from purchasing tobacco products are paying off, along with the many campaigns statewide to educate young people about the dangers of smoking. The public health community, schools, and retailers have all cooperated in this effort, and the future dividends are enormous—and enormously positive.”

Since 1995, the Attorney General’s office has enforced the state law that prohibits the sale of tobacco to minors. Every retail store that sells tobacco is checked at least twice per year under this program. Results of every purchase attempt are sent to the store after the check is completed. This enforcement program is required by the federal government or a state may lose federal substance abuse treatment funding.

The entire youth risk behavior survey is available at:


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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