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APPROXIMATELY 20% of US high school seniors still smoke, according to the American Cancer Society.
In hopes of substantially reducing that percentage by the close of this decade, the cancer society, American Heart Association, and American Lung Association continue to be involved in a 12-year tobacco education and awareness program for the elementary, junior high, and high school years. It was set into motion in 1988, when the high school class of (the year) 2000 entered first grade (JAMA. 1988;260:13-14; and JAMA. 1988;260:1836).
These children now are in the fourth grade. The three sponsoring organizations are hoping that, whether a given class member goes on to earn his or her high school diploma or not, the individual will be part of the first smoke-free generation.
This "Smoke-Free Class of 2000" project involved sending kits to more than 60 000 first-grade teachers around the country in its first year. Follow-up mailings
Berggren AT. Health Groups Pin Antitobacco Hopes on Turn-of-Century High School Class. JAMA. 1991;266(12):1611-1612. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470120013004