(Access to Coverage of Tobacco Treatment In Our Nation)
Shaping Policies | Improving Health
August 1, 2012 Last year, 18.7 percent of high school seniors were smokers — just about the same as the percentage of teenagers who are obese. But it may be even more important to attack teenage smoking than obesity. Fighting obesity is a lifelong battle. But for smoking, adolescence is Armageddon. Only 1 in 10 smokers starts after the age of 18. After the teenage years, the battle is lost. That’s the bad news. The good news is that unlike with obesity, we know what to do. We didn’t always know. In 1997, when 36.5 percent of high school seniors were smokers, a headline in The Washington Post said: “Officials Seek a Path to Cut Into Haze of Youth Smoking — The Bottom Line: No One Knows What Works.”
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