Alcohol and Drugs News on the Internet

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The rate of smoking among adults in California has dropped to 11.9 percent, a record low. Smoking rates have decreased among all age groups and ethnic groups, and among both men and women, the Mercury News reports. Men, people ages 25 to 44 and African Americans have the highest smoking rates, according to the newspaper.

The new smoking figures represent a 50 percent decline from 1988, when the state’s Tobacco Tax Initiative went into effect. The initiative, also known as Proposition 99, introduced a 25-cent tax on each cigarette pack sold in the state. Part of the taxes pay for the state’s tobacco control program.

According to the California Department of Public Health, smoking among high school students decreased from 14.6 percent in 2008 to 13.8 percent in 2010, while smoking among middle school students dropped from 6.0 percent in 2008 to 4.8 percent in 2010.

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