Survey shows three of 10 high school students smoke

Survey shows three of 10 high school students smoke Three out of 10 high school students in South Dakota smoke cigarettes, according to a new report from the state's tobacco control project.

"There have been other health and education surveys in the past that have asked South Dakota students about their tobacco use, but this is the first one to focus entirely on the subject," said Carmen Smith, tobacco control program coordinator for the Department of Health. "It gives us some important baseline data about youth tobacco use at a detailed level that haven't been available before."

The South Dakota Youth Tobacco Survey reports the results of a random sample survey done in 2000 of 1,529 ninth- through 12th-graders from 23 high schools across the state.

Key findings of the survey include:

* 70 percent of youth surveyed have used some form of tobacco;

* 33 percent were current smokers (smoked a cigarette during the past 30 days);

* 30 percent have used smokeless tobacco (chewing tobacco or snuff);

* 11 percent smoked cigarettes on school property during the past 30 days;

* 42 percent have someone living in their home who smokes cigarettes;

* 61 percent of current smokers reported that they have tried to quit smoking during the past 12 months.

"Nationwide, the number of youth who smoke is gradually declining and these data indicate that South Dakota may be following that trend as well," said Smith. "However, with a third of our ninth- through 12th-graders being smokers, we obviously have a long way to go."

To request a complete copy of the report, contact the Department of Health, Tobacco Control Program, at 773-3737. A summary of the report is available on the department Web site at

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