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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA



Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 12:00 PM
13-376

Youth Smoking in Wisconsin: An Assessment of Trends Through 2004

Karen A. Palmersheim, PhD, MS, Tobacco Surveillance & Evaluation Program, UW Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 610 N. Walnut St, Madison, WI 53726, Jennifer C. Ullsvik, MS, Tobacco Prevention and Control Program, Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services, 1 West Wilson Street, Madison, WI 53701, and Patrick Remington, MD, MPH, University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, 610 N. Walnut St, Madison, WI 53726.

Objective: This study assessed, and compared, trends in youth smoking in the state of Wisconsin and the United Sates over the past decade by gender and by grade.

Methods: Data were analyzed from the state and national Youth Tobacco Surveys and the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. Overall rates of ever smoking and current smoking among youth in the state of Wisconsin were compared to those of the United States in effort to determine whether state initiatives have had an impact beyond those observed at the national level. Analyses also examined trends by grade and by gender.

Results: The findings suggest that progress has been made during the first five years of the 21st century in decreasing youth experimentation with cigarettes and current smoking. Mover, rates of current smoking among high school youth have declined in Wisconsin at a slightly greater rate than that observed in the U.S. during this same time period. However, a recent stabilization of decline noted among middle school students may be a signal that these encouraging trends may not continue, especially as tobacco control program initiatives have experienced reductions in funding since 2001. This, and continuing surveillance, is key for planning and assisting public health agencies and advocates in assessing progress toward state and national goals of reducing youth tobacco use in Wisconsin and the United States.