RALEIGH -- Programs designed to reduce teenage smoking in North Carolina are having an effect, based on the numbers from a new study by researchers at the medical school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports that the study by researchers shows the percentage of middle-school students who smoke dropped from 5.8 percent in 2005 to 4.5 percent in 2007. The number of high school students who smoke fell from 20.3 percent to 19 percent. The results come from what is being called the first comprehensive independent evaluation of the state Health and Wellness Trust Fund's anti-smoking efforts. Gov.-elect Beverly Perdue, chairwoman of the trust fund since its creation in 2001, called the study results gratifying. (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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