March 29, 2011 - A state survey released this month found that the rate of youths who smoke cigarettes didn’t increase, but those who are using candy flavored or other alternative tobacco products did.
According to the Washington State Department of Health’s biannual Healthy Youth Survey, there were no significant increases in the rate of smokers among sixth-, eight-, 10th-, and 12th-graders who participated since a decade ago.
But cigarettes aside, another potential problem that the health department wants people to know about is the increase in “alternative” tobacco, and nicotine products, which are seemingly targeted at youth characteristics such as their candy flavor.
King County's results from the survey:
* In 2010, among students in 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12thgrades, the current cigarette use (smoked cigarettes during the past 30 days) prevalence were 1%, 4%, 8%, and 15% respectively.
* The statewide rates in these grades were higher at 2%, 6%, 12%, and 19% respectively.
* Current cigarette use appears to have peaked in 2008 and declined between 2008 and 2010, from 14% to 8% for grade 10, and from 19% to 15% for grade 12.
* In 2010, for students in 10th and 12th grades respectively, 3% and 6% were current frequent cigarette users, 4% and 6% used smokeless tobacco, and 7% and 14% smoked cigar during the previous 30 days.
* The prevalence of frequent cigarette use, cigar use, and smokeless tobacco use all declined between 2008 and 2010, but the changes in smokeless tobacco use were not statistically significant.
Reference: by Brent Champaco, woodinville.patch.com. 3/26/2011.