Officials Say Anti-Smoking Campaigns Work

Montgomery, AL – A state health official says a decline in teen smoking in Alabama could be further reduced by spending more money on anti-smoking campaigns. Alabama ranks about 25th in the nation in teen smoking. Public health officials say that respectable ranking is the direct result of campaigns and programs to keep young adults from even trying smoking once. The 2004 Youth Tobacco Survey says 24 percent of Alabama's high school students have smoked at least once. That number is down from almost 37 percent in 1999. Dianne Beeson of the Alabama Department of Public Health Tobacco Control Program says the state is trying to keep that figure on the decline. She says 24 percent is still a wretched number, and, through Healthy People 2010, officials are aiming for 16 percent usage by the year 2010. Healthy People 2010 is an initiative out of the Department of Health and Human Services.