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Survey: Okinawan youth start smoking ever-younger

Date Posted: 2003-10-11

Children are starting to smoke at younger ages. A survey by Yaeyama Wellfare and Health Center shows children begin at ever-younger ages. The survey was the first ever to covers all Yaeyama Islands. According to the survey, three percent of children 16 or younger smoke regularly. When they reach high school age, a third are smokers.

The survey was conducted in 35 elementary, 21 junior high and three high schools with a total of 5,975 students. Health Center Spokesman Tomoyuki Azuma said the survey results prove that there remains much to be done to educate children about danger of smoking. “If we compare our results with results of similar surveys done in other Parts of Japan, there’s not much difference. It shows that we on this remote island are not immune of the problem, and we must do our hardest to combat the trend,” Azuma stated.

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