Boone County, national teen smoking numbers down

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COLUMBIA - According to the CDC, teen smoking of E-Cigarettes went down from 16 percent from the year before to 11.3 percent nationally. Teen smoking of cigarettes went down from 9.3 percent to 8 percent.

Boone county has improved with those numbers nationally as well. 

According to a Department of Mental Health survey it conducts every other year, percent of teens who smoked cigarettes in Boone County went down from 28.8 percent in 2014 to 16.6 percent in 2016.

E-cigarette use went down from 22.1 percent in 2014 to 17.6 percent. 

Community Relations Specialist of the Boone County Public Health and Human Services Department Eric Stann says this trend is a move in the right direction. 

"The results from this study are encouraging, and we continue to work with our national, state and community partners to continue to combat this issue," said Stann.

Board of Health member Mahree Skala is also pleased with the results and this could continue to lead to a better future. 

"I think it's wonderful. I think it reflects that children are now being raised in a smoke-free environment, so they're not used to being around smoke. It's no longer the norm that everybody smokes all the time," said Skala. 

"I think as kids grow up in a more smoke-free environment they are going to be less and less likely to take up smoking."

At the moment, the board of health is waiting for action from city council on a proposed tobacco licensing program in Columbia.