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YRBS Middle School Results: Grades 7 - 8

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Section 2: Tobacco Use


Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of premature mortality in the United States. The majority of Alaska smokers (83.7%), began smoking between the ages of 10 and 20 years2. Because of the addictive properties of nicotine, smokers find it difficult to quit. Therefore, many efforts to decrease smoking in our society have been directed towards youth to decrease access to tobacco products and to discourage youth from starting to smoke3.

Cigarette Smoking

Over half of middle school students have tried smoking at least once; about one-fourth smoked at least one day in the past 30 days and 5.6% smoked on 20 or more of the past 30 days.

Cigarette Use Among Middle School Students

    a) Ever tried cigarette smoking.
    b) Smoked on at least one of the 30 days prior to the survey.
    c) Smoked on at least 20 of the 30 days prior to the survey.

Where are Students Getting Cigarettes?

The most common way middle school students obtain cigarettes is by borrowing them from someone else (37.2% of smokers); very few middle school smokers purchased cigarettes themselves at a store or vending machine in the 30 days prior to the survey.

Usual Source of Cigarettes in Past 30 Days*

    * Among Students who Smoked Cigarettes in Past 30 Days

Chewing Tobacco and Snuff

Boys are more likely to report ever having used chewing tobacco or snuff (37.3%) and over 20% of girls have also used smokeless tobacco products.

Ever Used Chewing Tobacco or Snuff

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