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Tobacco Use Decreased by 64% among High School Students Since 1997 while Marijuana Use Doubled

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzes tobacco and marijuana use among white, African American, and Hispanic students in grades 9 through 12 from 1997 to 2013. The data come from CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveys (YRBS) conducted every two years.

The good news is that student use of cigarettes and cigars has declined 64 percent, from 20.5 percent in 1997 to 7.4 percent in 2013. The bad news is that marijuana use more than doubled during that time, from 4.2 percent to 10.2 percent.

Further, marijuana use among students who also used cigarettes or cigars increased from 51.2 percent to 62.4 percent over that time, with even higher increases towards the end of the study period among African American and Hispanic students.

The use of marijuana among those who used cigarettes or cigars did not change among Hispanic students from 1997 to 2007, but then escalated from 54.9 percent to 73.6 percent in 2013. African American students’ marijuana use among those who used cigarettes and cigars held steady until 2009, but increased even further, from 66.4 percent then to 82 percent in 2013.

When tobacco and marijuana are used together, the likelihood of harm to individuals, including cognitive, psychological, respiratory, and addiction problems, also increases.

The substantial 64 percent decline in cigarette and cigar use among students took place as the result of evidence-based strategies such as increasing tobacco product prices, adopting comprehensive smoke-free policies, and conducting national public education media campaigns.

Read “Cigarette, Cigar, and Marijuana Use Among High School Students—United States—1997-2013” here.

Florida: Islamic bias found in high school history textbook

Creeping  Shariah reports:

Two Brevard School Board members are reviewing a world history textbook used in ninth grade Advance Placement classes amid concerns that it is biased in favor of Islam — at the expense of Christianity and Judaism.

House Representative Ritch Workman and individuals from two citizens groups spoke against the textbook, Prentice Hall World History, at the Brevard School Board meeting Tuesday, citing examples of phrases and passages they believe show bias.

“Our children deserve facts and accuracy, not history being revised for our own failure or desire to not offend one culture or another,” said Workman, a Republican from Melbourne.

The textbook, which has been used in Brevard for the past three years, devotes a chapter to Islam, with sections including the rise of Islam and the building of the Muslim empire. Conversely, Christianity and Judaism do not have their own chapters and instead are referenced in paragraphs embedded in other sections.

Workman also expressed concern about how historic events are portrayed and what phrases are used. For example, he said the textbook reads Jesus proclaims himself to be the Messiah but declares Muhammad becomes a prophet.

School board members Amy Kneessy and Andy Ziegler promised to review the textbook, which is published by Pearson, a well-known printer of educational textbooks.

“No matter what the subject is, whether it’s math, English, science or world history, students need to have accurate, unbiased information,” Kneessy said. “If textbooks are unbiased or incomplete, it’s our job to fix that.”

Pearson Spokeswoman Susan Aspey said the company and its authors adhere to “the highest editorial standards when creating course materials, which undergo a rigorous review process.”

“The textbook referenced was approved by the state of Florida and meets all requirements for the High School World History Course,” she wrote in an email. “A review of the book shows there is balanced attention given to the beliefs of Islam, Judaism and Christianity.”

Ziegler said the underlining issue is accuracy and fairness — and should be investigated.

Read more.

Related video from an event featuring Brigitte Gabriel, founder of ACT for America,  in Jacksonville, FL: