Youth Smoking & Gunplay On Rise

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Increased smoking and gang-related activity in Massachusetts show dangerous trends for Massachusetts' youth, according to two reports released Wednesday.

A smoking study released by Tobacco-Free Kids showed that Massachusetts is bucking national trends and increasing its cigarette consumption by three percent as the national average decreased by the same amount.

The study attributes the decline to the state's underfunded smoking prevention program, which lost 95 percent of its funding between 2000 and 2004.

Meantime, a report published by the National Center for Victims of Crime said one in five inner-city teenagers in Massachusetts have been a part of or witness to gun-related violence.

Twenty-six percent of the 641 respondents, mostly males from inner-city neighborhoods in cities like Boston, Lynn and Springfield, said they had been beaten and more than half said that gangs were an issue in school.

This program aired on April 11, 2007. The audio for this program is not available.