I was looking over this stats graph the Washington Post has posted from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey; surgeon general’s report.
I was encouraged to see that smoking tobacco has dropped significantly. However, smokeless tobacco has dropped off very little (in comparison) and actually has a trending rise. Does this warrant us a second of pause that we have gotten the word out that ‘smoking is bad’ but not lost the message that tobacco is harmful in all its forms? Could liken it to the trend that young folks know that sexual intercourse is bad (you could get pregnant!!), but do not see the same issues with oral sex (the pregnancy scare is not relevant).
When it comes to harmful behaviors do we miss the point in focusing on the singular habit and its singular effect, but then miss the point of the overall health hazards?
It has me thinking in terms of food as well. We have teens who might have watched “Super Size Me” and have become aware of the hazards of eating at McDonalds, but Chick-Fil-A is still okay because it is not McDonalds. We missed the point that all of fast foods are laden with preservatives and chemicals that are less than healthy for us to eat on a regular basis.
In other thoughts, I was surprised to see 2% of girls using smokeless tobacco.. Surprised me.