Youth lured by tobacco marketing

Despite a half a century of concentrated prevention strategies targeting youth tobacco use, nationally the numbers are still on the rise.

In a report released Thursday, the U.S. Surgeon General said that, nearly one in four high school seniors and one in three adults under the age of 26 smoke.

These alarming numbers and nationwide epidemic has grabbed the attention of the Food and Drug Administration .

The FDA Thursday announced new rules that are designed to stop youth from trying tobacco products before they even start.

Some of these rules include prohibiting tobacco companies from sponsoring sports and entertainment events, offering give-a-ways with the purchase of tobacco products and selling hats or t-shirts featuring cigarette logos on them.

So what does this mean for youth in our area?

Statistics show that Adams County, Illinois high school students who report they do not use tobacco went from 86 percent in 2008 to 89 percent, according to Alaina Tippey, Prevention Coordinator for Adams County Health Department .

Alaina credits the decrease in student tobacco use to the Too Good for Drugs program. This 10-week program targets youth in Adams county and teaches them about the dangers of tobacco use. Programs like Two Good for Drugs and new FDA rules will work to combat the nationwide tobacco epidemic.

The new FDA regulations are expected to begin in June, 2012.