Ten years ago, government health experts set a goal to reduce the teen smoking rate to 16 percent by the year 2010 (the rate was about 34.8 percent in 1999). But after some dramatic early reductions, the smoking rate for high school students has stalled at about 19.5 percent. Missing this deadline has deadly consequences. With about 4 million students graduating from high school each year, the difference between the current rate and the 16 percent goal amounts to an additional 140,000 student smokers and 46,000 premature deaths for each high school class nationally, the New York Times reported.
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