The Use of Prevalence Data To Unite the Community in Prevention Programs

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Abstract

This study examined the prevalence of cigarette smoking in a three-county area of northeastern Pennsylvania. More than 14,000 questionnaires have been returned, and results reveal that 5,411 children have experimented with cigarettes and 2,962 of those children continue smoking today. Cigarette experimentation begins as early as age 5 in northeastern Pennsylvania, with the highest number of children (19.8%) experimenting by age 12. This experimentation occurs less frequently among females in the lower grades and more frequently among females in the later years of high school. The results of this study were used to unite the health community of northeastern Pennsylvania in a number of prevention initiatives.

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