MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle today announced a decrease in smoking among Wisconsin high school students. According to a 2009 survey conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI), the number of students who reported smoking a cigarette in the past 30 days dropped to 17 percent – down from 21 percent in 2007.
“Throughout my career, as Attorney General and Governor, I have worked hard to protect our kids from smoking and becoming addicted to tobacco,” Governor Doyle said. “Our efforts to reduce youth smoking are working - from raising the cigarette tax to preventing youth tobacco sales and involving them in our outreach campaigns. When goes Wisconsin’s smokefree in July of 2010 we will further improve public health, save lives and reduce health care costs.”
Governor Doyle has fought smoking throughout his career. Earlier this year he signed legislation making public places, including restaurants, taverns, and other indoor workplaces, smokefree. In 2008 Governor Doyle led the effort to increase the cigarette tax by $1.00 with a main goal of reducing youth smoking. In addition, he has taken a number of steps to reduce smoking in Wisconsin, including supporting cessation programs, providing free quit-smoking medications through the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line, and increasing youth tobacco prevention efforts. In 1999, as Attorney General, he negotiated a multi-million dollar settlement for the state with Big Tobacco.
The 2009 Youth Risk Behavioral Survey was conducted by DPI as part of a national effort by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to monitor health-risk behaviors of the nation’s high school students. DPI administered the survey to 2,434 students in 57 public schools in Wisconsin in the spring of 2009. The report contains findings in eight priority areas: protective assets; traffic safety; weapons and violence; suicide; tobacco use; alcohol and other drug use; sexual behaviors; and nutrition and exercise.
DPI has administered the Youth Risk Behavioral Survey every two years beginning with 1993.
For more information on the survey, visit http://dpi.wi.gov/sspw/yrbsindx.html
For more on Wisconsin’s Youth Tobacco Prevention and Control efforts, visit http://dhs.wisconsin.gov/tobacco/YouthPrograms.htm