Michigan Tobacco Prevention Efforts Working

October 28, 2002

Michigan Department of Community Health Director, James K. Haveman, Jr., today highlighted the comprehensive anti-tobacco efforts operating in Michigan. 

"Contrary to what some have said, Michigan has had aggressive prevention and cessation programs in place for both children and adults for many years," said Haveman.  "We know these programs are working as Michigan's teen smoking rate has dropped 28 percent in just four years."

The Michigan Comprehensive School Health Education program provides a major focus on smoking prevention throughout the elementary, middle and high school curricula.  Published research indicates that middle school students who received the prevention lessons were two times less likely to smoke as a control group who had not received the lessons.  Michigan's strong Safe and Drug-Free Schools prevention program includes curriculum that has been shown to reduce tobacco use among adolescents.  More than 99 percent of Michigan school districts participate in this program, which also requires schools to maintain a smoke-free campus.

Cessation has long been a focus, Haveman said.  "Smokers who want to quit can find the help they need readily available in Michigan," he said.  The Michigan Department of Community Health distributed more than 120,000 free Quit Kits in the 2002 fiscal year.  The kits are promoted through an assertive media campaign.  Interested smokers may request a kit by calling toll-free 1-800-537-5666.  A special free kit for expectant mothers who smoke was introduced this year and is available at the same number.  The Department of Community Health also funded a survey by the Michigan Association of Health Plans which helps smokers find out about the cessation benefits covered by their own health plan. 

The Department of Community Health also has a web page that helps smokers find free or low-cost cessation programs around the state.  This and other helpful tools are available at www.michigan.gov/mdch by clicking on "Physical Health & Prevention" and on "Prevention."

According to the most recent Current Population Survey, 47 percent of Michigan adults who ever smoked have quit.  Cigarette consumption in Michigan has dropped by 20 percent from 1993, primarily a result of the tobacco tax increase in 1994.  The tobacco tax increase implemented this year, coupled with the continued implementation of the state programs, is expected to produce a further reduction.