Middle school smoking ranked high in Colorado | CraigDailyPress.com

Middle school smoking ranked high in Colorado

DENVER (AP) Students in Colorado middle schools are using tobacco at a higher rate than other children around the nation, state health officials said Monday.

Jane Norton, executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said a statewide survey conducted last fall found 39 percent of the state’s sixth, seventh and eighth graders reported using tobacco, compared to 33 percent nationally.

”This is particularly alarming because research shows the younger individuals are when they first try smoking, the higher their chances of ultimately becoming regular smokers,” Norton said.

She said symptoms of addiction including anxiety, irritability and strong urges to smoke can occur only days after the children take their first puff.

The information was collected from 3,546 students attending 41 middle schools and 49 high schools who responded to a 70-question survey on tobacco use.

The study also found that one-third of middle school students and two- thirds of high school students had tried cigarettes.

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