LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) -

La Crosse County is making progress when it comes to fighting tobacco use among high school students.

 For more than a decade, health officials have been trying to decrease the amount of cigarette and other tobacco use by kids in Wisconsin. A recent survey shows the widespread efforts are working.

 Since 2001, the percentage of high school students that reported trying a cigarette at least one time has been cut in half, while reducing the number of students who smoke before the age of thirteen by twenty- percent.

 Judi Zabel, a health educator at the La Crosse County Health Department, credits the success to community involvement.

 "It's the involvement of parents, grandparents, teachers and coaches all coming together and saying I want to learn more about what is going on in tobacco,” Zebel said.

 

She added that the county has been following the Centers for Disease Control guidelines by implementing various programs including the expansion of smoke free environments like parks and beaches.