Report Says Program Leads To Drop In Teen Smoking

Researchers at U-N-C-Chapel Hill say state funding of teenage initiatives has led to a dramatic drop in cigarette use by high school and middle-school students.

An evaluation by the U-N-C researchers shows cigarette use dropped 25 percent among high school students and nearly 38 percent by middle school students from 2003 to 2005. The researchers also say the decline appears strongly related to the statewide tobacco use prevention and cessation initiatives.

The report also finds that more than two-thirds of North Carolina school districts have adopted 100 percent tobacco-free school policies, up from 22 percent in 2003.

The evaluation covers the first three years of activity by the Teen Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Initiative of the North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund. The fund was established with North Carolina's share of tobacco lawsuit settlement money.