Tobacco sales to young people in New Hampshire increased by about 5 percent over the past year, according to a new report.
The statistics, via recent tobacco compliance checks, show tobacco sales to youth increased from 7.8 percent in 2011 to 13.2 percent in 2012, according to a report released by the Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services, state Department of Health and Human Services.
The report said 291 tobacco retailers statewide were surveyed this year.
Joe Harding, director of the Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services, said in a press release Dec. 20 that the 2012 results are well under the federal requirement of 20 percent. However, concerns remain, he said.
"Research shows that lower tobacco use by youth also decreases the chance that they will use drugs or alcohol," Harding said.
Data from the NH Youth Risk Behavior Survey of 22,000 students found that nearly all of the high school students who smoked also reported drinking.
CDC studies found that 19.5 percent of high schools students reported they had one more cigarettes in the past month, when surveyed in 2009. The same study and time period estimated that 5.7 percent of middle school students had tried or were smoking cigarettes at some point.
New Hampshire is on top of the New England charts, but not in a good way, when it comes to youth smoking. Here's a recent youth smoking rate:State Smoking % NH 19.8 CT 15.9 Maine 15.2 Mass. 14.0 VT 13.3 RI 11.4
Source: CDC current youth rate, 2011.
Some resources available:
Fact: 1,080 teens start smoking every day, according to state and federal estimates.