4

Florida Has the Lowest Child Smoking Rate in the Country (Except for Utah)

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

Finally, some Floridian behavior to celebrate.

A new report concludes that Florida has the second lowest smoking rate amongst high school students of every state in the union. In fact, Florida's efforts to curb youth smoking has been so successful that researchers are actually issuing a "Florida Challenge" to other states.

The joint study was conducted by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, and the American Lung Association.

It found that only 7.5 percent of Florida's high school students light up. That's in stark contrast to the 15.7 percent rate nationwide.

Florida's low rate is the result of a well-funded anti-smoking campaign targeted at teenagers. In fact the report signals it out as a model for other states. Imagine that! Florida as a role model!

"Most states are literally sacrificing the health of their children and costing taxpayers billions by refusing to properly fund tobacco prevention efforts and ignoring the mountain of evidence that these programs save lives and money," said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids in a statement. "Florida's remarkable progress shows we can create a tobacco-free generation -- but only if elected leaders wake up and aggressively implement proven solutions. That's why we're issuing this 'Florida Challenge' to spur every state to increase funding for tobacco prevention programs, a crucial step toward our tobacco-free vision."

"Florida has shown the way by setting an example that other states should follow. The American Heart Association calls on all state lawmakers to invest in these proven programs that will save lives and money," adds Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association.

Naturally, none of this praise has anything to do with any recent politician.

In fact, it was Democratic Governor Lawton Chiles and AG Bob Buttersworth who sued the tobacco industry way back in 1995 and won an $11.3 billion out-of-court settlement. That money is now used in part to fund anti-smoking programs.

Only Utah has a lower rate, but Utah is traditionally the goody two shoes of America. Their only sin is overindulgence in Jell-O. There's no beating them in these types of rankings, so take this as the pure win it is.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.