R.I. has third-lowest youth smoking rate

A new federal report says that Rhode Island has the third-lowest youth smoking rate in the nation, but that the state ranks near the middle of the pack when it comes to adult smoking rates. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released Friday said 11.4 percent of Rhode Island high school students smoke. Only Utah and Hawaii rank lower. The report found 20 percent of Rhode Island adults smoke, the 19th lowest rate and slightly higher than the national rate of 19 percent. Health director Michael Fine said it is no coincidence the youth smoking rate is so low when Rhode Island has the second-highest cigarette excise tax in the nation.