Smoking still a problem for Tri-Cities youth

Smoking still a problem for Tri-Cities youth
TRI-CITIES, Wash. - The state wide average has fallen over the years.

We now have the fewest number of middle and high schoolers smoking in more than a decade.

Averages here in the Tri-Cities are still high. Benton estimates ten percent of kids are smokers.

The effort to stop it has increased.

Mary Selecky, state health secretary said, "All the state funding for the kinds of programs we've had reaching out to youth or going in and doing retailer education has been reduced or is gone. They're selling tobacco to kids who are underage age 18 and its against the law"

Officials say the biggest offenders who sell to kids are mom and pop shops.

If Washington hits a 20 percent average, we can lose federal funding for substance abuse programs.