Thwarting Teen Tobacco Use: Statewide Data and Other Information
Monday - June 03, 2013
Tobacco use remains the number one preventable cause of death and disease in both the United States and South Carolina. The good news is, we know what works to solve this complex public health problem, and we are making strides. Statewide in 2011, 23.7 percent of all high school students smoke cigarettes and 33 percent of high school students and 14 percent of middle school students currently use some form of tobacco. A total of 5,900 kids under age 18 become new daily smokers each year. These rates have dramatically decreased from a high of 36.6 percent of high school students smoking in 1999, but statistics show children in our state are starting to try smoking at younger ages. In 2007, 8.7 percent of S.C. middle school students smoked, which was above the national average. It is anticipated that 103,000 kids now under 18 and alive in South Carolina will ultimately die prematurely from smoking. What is being done to combat tobacco use specific to South Carolina youth is the topic of this podcast, as we feature DHEC's Kymburle Gripper Sims, Youth Tobacco Use Prevention Coordinator.