One in 9 Ohio teens smoke

Ohio has the fifth-highest rate of teenagers smoking, regardless of making great falls in the amount of 12- to 17-year-olds who select to smoke, reported by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Cool Smoking

A red-headed girl exhaling cigarette smoke

Discouraging the younger generation from taking up smoking in the first place might be the greatest way to minimize the loss of life and financial problems that tobacco-related diseases cause, mentioned the authors of a survey published this week.

So, the nation has made remarkable steps since 2002 and 2003, when 12.6% of answerers, or one in eight children, aged between 12-17 years revealed having smoked in the recent month. That number had decreased to 8.7% when the amounts were crunched from the 2009 and 2010 studies.

Ohio observed its own precipitous drop during that same period, reducing from 14.5% to 11.2%. Nevertheless, the drop was not as rough as the one felt by the nation as a whole, which contributed to Ohio increasing from having the 16th-highest young smoking rate between 2002 and 2003 to the fifth highest in the 2009-10 time period.

“It’s not unexpected that there is such rate of smoking among teenagers and that Ohio is falling behind the country,” said Shelly Kiser, director of advocacy for the American Lung Association in Ohio.

Kiser said that Ohio completely stopped using much of its resources for quitting smoking programs and is losing the marketing war to tobacco companies.

“They’re out there wasting $1 million a day,” she said. “It’s hard to deal with that.”

The most verified technique to deter smoking across all age categories, based on an advocate at the American Cancer Society, is to increase the state cigarette tax, which was previous lifted to $1.25 per pack of cigarettes in July 2005.

“It’s been demonstrated that increasing the cigarette tax results in a barrier to use and eventually what that does, especially among young generation, is it reduces rates of smoking,” said Laura Weis, the society’s program manager for advocacy communications in Michigan and Ohio.

The ACS says that 99% of smokers took up smoking before they are 26, so reduction is very important. Parents who discuss with their children about the risks of smoking increase the odds they will give up tobacco.

For young adults who already have a smoking habit, parents should prevent threats and eventually to force them to give up smoking, Weis said. If the parents are smokers, they should be a good example and stop smoking.

“Parents are truly the biggest impact in keeping their children from smoking,” she added.

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