Sunday, November 25, 2007

Newshawk: Herb
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Pubdate: Wed, 21 Nov 2007
Source: Argus Leader (Sioux Falls, SD)
Copyright: 2007 Argus Leader
Author: Terry Woster
Bookmark: (Marijuana)


PIERRE -- South Dakota school kids are smoking tobacco less and marijuana more than they did a decade and one-half ago, a state survey of risky behaviors suggests. 

The state Board of Education received the latest Youth Risk Behavior survey earlier this week in Pierre.  The report, based on responses from South Dakota students in grades nine through 12 at randomly selected public, private and Bureau of Indian Affairs schools, is done every other year.  The most recent survey is based in 2005 data, and state officials compared the outcome with 1991 responses to outline trends. 

The trend to more pot and less tobacco was among the shifts shown by that comparison. 

The shift in tobacco use was perhaps not as great as anti-smoking forced would like -- 61 percent of students say they have tried cigarettes, compared with 69 percent in 1991.  But 37 percent said they had used marijuana in 2005, compared with 21 percent 14 years ago. 

Other statistics of note included: 

- - Fewer students, 44 percent, say they've had intercourse than in 1991 ( 48 percent ). 

- - Fewer students have been in a vehicle in the past month with a drinking driver or have driven a vehicle themselves when drinking alcohol.  In 1991, 50 percent of those asked said they'd ridden with a drinking driver and 28 percent said they'd driven while drinking.  The 2005 data showed 32 percent had ridden with a drinking driver and 17 percent had driven while drinking. 

- - About one in three students, 34 percent, reported binge drinking in the previous month in the most recent survey.  In 1991, 41 percent of those asked said they'd done that. 

- - While 19 percent of students in 2005 said they'd considered suicide, that percentage was down from 30 percent in 1991. 

- - And more students are at risk for becoming obese, 14 percent in the latest survey, compared to 11 percent in 1991.  

MAP posted-by: Richard Lake 

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