Annual Event Aims At Educating Youth
South Tama High School students again went to the STC Elementary and Middle schools to warn of the dangers which can result from tobacco use. The program is an effort of the Tama County Tobacco Coalition. Rudy Papakee is the colalition coordinator.
The Toll of Tobacco in Iowa
Tobacco Use in Iowa
High school students who smoke 18.9% (32,700)
Male high school students who use smokeless or spit tobacco 13.8% (females use much lower)
Kids (under 18) who become new daily smokers each year 3,500
Kids exposed to secondhand smoke at home 231,000
Packs of cigarettes bought or smoked by kids each year 7.5 million
Adults in Iowa who smoke 18.8% (430,500)
Nationwide, youth smoking has declined dramatically since the mid-1990s, but that decline has slowed considerably in recent years. The smoking rate among high school students - 20 percent in 2007 - has not declined significantly since 2003, following a 40 percent decline between 1997 and 2003, from 36.4 percent to 21.9 percent.
In addition, 13.4 percent of U.S. high school males currently use spit tobacco. U.S. adult smoking increased slightly to 20.6 percent (about 46 million) in 2008 from 19.8 percent in 2007, the first increase in adult smoking rate since 1994.
Deaths in Iowa From Smoking
Adults who die each year from their own smoking 4,400
Kids now under 18 and alive in Iowa who will ultimately die prematurely from smoking 66,000
Adult nonsmokers who die each year from exposure to secondhand smoke 440
Smoking kills more people than alcohol, AIDS, car crashes, illegal drugs, murders, and suicides combined — and thousands more die from other tobacco-related causes — such as fires caused by smoking (more than 1,000 deaths/year nationwide) and smokeless tobacco use. No good estimates are currently available, however, for the number of Iowa citizens who die from these other tobacco-related causes, or for the much larger numbers who suffer from tobacco-related health problems each year without actually dying.
TATU students spreading the message at the STC Elementary were left-right, front row: Courtney Svacina, Ashley Behounek, Ashley Kruse and Caitlin Boldt. Back row: Eleni Upah, Amanda Albertsen, Tanya Halverson, Morgan Herriott, Chelsea Goers, Kyle Benda and Sarah Holtz.