Twenty-six percent of graduating high school males smoke every day, indicating that restrictions placed on vending machines and minors in 1996 are failing to deter youth from smoking, according to a health ministry poll.

The most recent figures in the survey, conducted by a study group of the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, came out nearly the same for boys as in the 1996 survey. The proportion of high school girls who smoke, meanwhile, rose slightly from five years ago to 8 percent.

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