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Kentucky Officials Credit Tobacco-Free Policies for Drop in Youth Smoking Rate

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Natalia Zhigareva, 123rf Stock Photo
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The number of youth smoking in Kentucky is at an historic low according to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. 

The 2015 Kentucky Youth Risk Behavior Survey finds smoking rates among Kentucky high school students at 16.9%, down from 26.2% from a decade ago. In a news release, state officials attribute the decrease to the success of tobacco-free school policies. 35% of school districts in the commonwealth are tobacco-free. The policy prohibits the use of tobacco, including alternative nicotine and vapor products.

A Kentucky Health Issues Poll earlier this year found 85% of Kentuckians favor tobacco-free school campuses. Murray State University's campus is tobacco-free, as are Murray Independent, Marshall County and Webster County school districts.

Matt Markgraf joined the WKMS team as a student in January 2007. He's served in a variety of roles over the years: as News Director March 2016-September 2019 and previously as the New Media & Promotions Coordinator beginning in 2011. Prior to that, he was a graduate and undergraduate assistant. He is currently the host of the international music show Imported on Sunday nights at 10 p.m.
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