Independence From Tobacco Addiction
In July we celebrate the fight to become independent from tobacco! Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States, killing more than 440,000 Americans each year. It is also the leading cause of preventable death in North Carolina, and is primarily responsible for numerous deadly cancers and debilitating illnesses. Despite these facts, each year thousands of our state's young people begin using tobacco. However, since HWTF began funding teen tobacco use prevention and cessation efforts in 2003, middle school smoking has decreased by 51.6% and high school smoking has decreased by 30.4% (North Carolina Youth Tobacco Survey, 2007). This translates into 34,000 fewer teen smokers since 2003. These are the lowest cigarette use rates for middle (4.5%) and high school (19.0%) students ever recorded in our state.