Milton youth smoking cigarettes at rates higher than the state average

A teen offers a cigarette to a woman perched upon a wall.
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Milton youth smoking cigarettes at rates higher than the state average

In the face of a decline in cigarette use over the years, alarming statistics have emerged from the Milton Youth Risk Behavior Survey implemented at Milton High School in 2022. The data reveals a concerning increase in cigarette consumption among students, emphasizing the urgent need for awareness and action to prevent big tobacco from gaining a foothold on our youth once again.

Cigarette use on the rise:

The Milton Youth Risk Behavior Survey’s findings paint a worrisome picture of the current state of affairs at Milton High School.

Cigarette use among students has surged, with 8.4% of Milton students reporting smoking in the last 30 days, compared to the statewide rate of 5.0%.

This marks a significant increase from the 2019 survey, where only 4.7% of students reported cigarette use.

Gender disparities:

The data also highlights gender disparities in cigarette use, revealing that male students at Milton High School (9.2%) are more likely to smoke than their female counterparts (6.5%). Understanding these differences can help tailor interventions to address the unique challenges each gender may face regarding tobacco use.

Vaping trends:

While cigarette use is on the rise, vaping rates have decreased among Milton High School students. In 2019, 48.4% reported ever using a vaping product, whereas in 2022, only 26.1% reported ever using one. However, it’s crucial to note that 16.7% still reported using vaping products in the last 30 days, emphasizing the persistent need for vigilance.

Big tobacco’s target: Our youth, communities, and planet:

Big tobacco’s relentless targeting of young people, communities, and the environment is a well-documented concern. The resurgence of cigarette use among high school students demands a collective response to protect our youth from the harmful effects of tobacco products.

Empowering conversations:

To combat this alarming trend, it is essential for parents, educators, and community leaders to engage in open and honest conversations with young people about the risks associated with smoking and vaping. By sharing these facts, we empower the youth to make informed decisions and resist the manipulative tactics of big tobacco.

Support and understanding:

Moreover, it is crucial to create an environment where young people feel supported and understood. Let them know that you are there to answer their questions and provide the necessary support if they find themselves entangled in the web of addictive behaviors.

The impact of vaping on health:

Nicotine, a key component in vaping products, is associated with sleep problems. The increase in blood pressure, heart rate, and glucose levels caused by nicotine can significantly disrupt sleep patterns, affecting the overall well-being of young individuals.

Vaping nicotine can make feelings of anxiety and depression worse, with recent studies linking vaping and mental health issues. Regular nicotine use can worsen anxiety and leave you more susceptible to experiencing symptoms of depression.

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Article information sourced from The Milton Coalition


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