Teen Smoking Hits All-Time Low in Wisconsin

Good news, but is it a pyrrhic vic­tory for future state budgets?

Wis­con­sin health offi­cials say smok­ing by mid­dle and high school stu­dents has dropped to an all-time low.

The 2012 Wis­con­sin Youth Tobacco Sur­vey, released Mon­day, found that 13% of high school­ers say they smoke and 2.5% of mid­dle school­ers admit to smok­ing. The last study in 2010 showed nearly 18% of high schooner and nearly 4% of mid­dle schooler smoked.

The sur­vey is done by the Wis­con­sin Depart­ment of Health Ser­vices and the Wis­con­sin Depart­ment of Pub­lic Instruction.

The 2012 fig­ures con­trast sharply with 2000, when 33% of high school stu­dents and 12% of mid­dle school stu­dents said they smoked.

Admit­tedly, it’s a sur­vey, so you could have some lying going on.

The rea­son I bring up future state bud­gets, keep in mind, the for­mer Doyle bud­gets — espe­cially the 2009–2011 state bud­get — were built on mas­sive tax increases on tobacco sales.

If those are going to be lim­ited in the near-future, I got to admit, what­ever white paper the Leg­isla­tive Fis­cal Bureau is going to issue in the com­ing months on that rev­enue source will be an inter­est­ing one to read.

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