Fewer teens say, 'I smoke'
California's billion-dollar effort to stamp out smoking among teen-agers appears to be paying some dividends, according to survey results released Wednesday that found a sharp decline in the percentage of youths who smoke.
The survey, conducted by the state Department of Health Services, found that 7.4 percent of boys ages 12 to 17 smoked in 1999, down from 11.2 percent in 1998.
Smoking rates were also down among girls, with 6.4 percent smoking in 1999, compared to 10.1 percent in 1998.
Those figures run counter to national trends, which have found youths more likely to smoke. A national survey released earlier this year reported that 35 percent of high school students and 13 percent of middle school students had used some form of tobacco in 1999.