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    Strong Results in Indiana

    Youth smoking down 26 percent.

    INDIANAPOLIS -- Young Hoosiers are making healthier decisions about tobacco use, according to the Indiana Youth Tobacco Survey (IYTS), issued from November 2002 to February 2003. The survey indicates that 26 percent fewer Hoosier high school students are lighting up. The overall decline is from 32 percent who reported smoking in 2000 to 23 percent in 2002.

    Some of the most notable statistics from the IYTS include a 26 percent decline, from 31.6 percent in 2000, to 23.4 percent in 2002 for high school students, grades 9-12. The national average was 28 percent. There are 29,000 fewer high school smokers, according to the Martinsville (Ind.) Reporter-Times.

    "This initial data strongly suggests that our program is working and is an excellent investment for Indiana," said Bain Farris, chair of Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation's (ITPC) executive board.

    The IYTS was conducted from November 2002 to February 2003 and polled more than 4,500 students in grades 6-12. The survey took place during the height of ITCP's statewide tobacco prevention and education campaign. This included elements that are proven to reduce tobacco consumption; such as a statewide media campaign, local youth access enforcement through compliance checks, and the agency's support of the state's cigarette tax increase that went into effect last year.

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