Smoking, obesity top Okaloosa County health concerns

Published: Friday, April 26, 2013 at 06:02 PM.

There are, however, some alarming substance abuse trends that county health authorities are tracking.

•9.1 percent of middle school students and 28 percent of high school kids have used tobacco in the past 30 days, and

•6 percent of middle schoolers and 17.5 percent of high school students have smoked cigarettes in the past 30 days.

For them, comprehensive health information is a must, Cholcher's report said, but "only 4.8 percent of Okaloosa County high school students report receiving comprehensive tobacco use prevention education," as compared to the state's 7.4 percent average, the report stated.

"Health trends that are going to impact our long-term health, such as tobacco use and physical obesity, are issues for our entire community," Chapman said.

'Skin in the Game'

An area state representative has suggested requiring people who take advantage of free public health services to invest in their own healthcare.

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