FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
September 14, 2010 Contact: William Gerrish
Hartford - The Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced that the rate of cigarette smoking among Connecticut’s middle and high school students continues to decline, and that attitudes about smoking vary between smokers and non-smokers. The results are from a survey, the Youth Tobacco Component (YTC), on tobacco use among young people in grades 6 though 12.
“This survey estimates that nearly 9,000 of Connecticut’s middle and high school students smoked their first cigarette before age 11,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin. “Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States. Many of these kids will become addicted before they are old enough to understand the risks of smoking. This survey provides valuable data for evaluating youth tobacco prevention efforts and cessation programs within our state.”
In the 2009 survey, 20.8% of high school students reported they currently use tobacco. This is down from 22.6% when the previous survey was taken in 2007. The survey also shows that the belief that smoking has social benefits such as fitting in or looking cool, is higher among students who smoke than those who had never smoked.
The YTC is part of a larger study, the Connecticut School Health Survey (CSHS), conducted by the DPH in cooperation with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Connecticut State Department of Education. The survey, conducted in the spring of 2009, assessed students’ attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors related to tobacco use. Anonymous responses from a representative sample of 4,616 students in grades 6-12 were collected and analyzed for the report.
To view the report, please visit http://www.ct.gov/dph/lib/dph/hems/tobacco/pdf/2009_ytc_report_fnl.pdf.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state. To contact the department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph or call (860) 509-7270.