Arkansas Kids Smoking, not Drinking

July 31, 2003 - Posted at 8:01 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.  --A new survey shows teenagers in Arkansas smoke more but drink less than their counterparts across the nation.

The Arkansas Prevention Needs Assessment, carried out late in 2002, surveyed more than 28-thousand students across the state in grades six, nine, ten and 12. It was the first of five such surveys planned by the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Program in the state Department of Human Services.

National and state survey results showed that, in grades eight, ten and 12, more Arkansas students reported they smoked than was the case at the national level. In the eighth grade, 13-point-nine percent of Arkansans reported smoking a cigarette during the previous month, while ten-point-seven percent did so nationally. For tenth graders, the state figure was 23-point-seven percent, while it was 17-point-seven percent nationally.

In grade 12, the Arkansas percentage was 30-point-six percent, the national percentage was 26-point-seven. But proportionately fewer Arkansas students reported having drunk an alcoholic beverage at least once.

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