Teen Smoking Declines

The state Department of Health released a study Thursday that shows significant reductions in tobacco and cigarette use by the state's public high school students. According to the Youth Risk Behavioral Survey high school students' cigarette use has dropped by 25 percent since 1999.

The report also shows declines in the use of any form of tobacco and the percentage of students who have ever tried smoking. State Health Officer Ed Thompson called the decreases ``substantial and statistically significant.'' ``Our junior high survey showed encouraging results last fall, but we didn't expect a significant change in the high school numbers for another year or two,'' Thompson said.

Attorney General Mike Moore attributed the decrease to the state's comprehensive youth prevention programs, which are developed and implemented by The Partnership for a Health Mississippi.