State health officials are pointing to more progress in efforts to reduce Kentucky's youth smoking rate.
The state Cabinet for Health and Family Services says the latest smoking rate among Kentucky high school students is 16.9 percent, down from 26.2 percent a decade ago. That's according to the 2015 Kentucky Youth Risk Behavior Survey.
Youth smoking rates in Kentucky remain higher than the national average. Officials say the nationwide rate was 10.8 percent in 2015.
Officials from the Kentucky Department for Public Health attribute the state's decade-long decline, in part, to tobacco-free school policies, which encourage districts to create environments where tobacco and alternative nicotine products are prohibited.