Cigarette smoking among Princeton University students has become so rare during the past eight years that only one in 14 students now has the nicotine habit.
The university's Health Services Department said on the basis of freshman medical records that the percentage of cigarette smokers has dropped from 45 per cent in 1969 to 6.9 per cent this year.
The American Cancer Society reported that between 1970 and 1975 the percentage of the nation's males 21 to 24 years of age who smoked dropped from 49 to 41.3 per cent. Smoking among high-school boys stayed about the same during that period, and increased among females ages 13 to 24.
A university health official attributed the difference between the national average and Princeton's rate to the fact that people who are accepted by Princeton don't feel average and are not susceptible to the pressures that cuase their peers to start smoking. "People who go to demanding academic institutions have already proven themselves," said Dr. Louis Pyle, director of the health services department. "They do not need smoking as a crutch. They distinguish themselves in other wasys that are said afterwards that the $4.3 million was not enough.
What the school officials want is the full $255.8 million recommended by the school board. "I'm not satisfied with it (the Council's action yesterday). I'll be satisfied with what we submitted," said School Supt. Vincent E. Reed.
"It's progress from the crap they first came up with," said William Simons, president of the Washington Teacher's Union. "But we're still not satisfied."
If the council's education committee reduction is made, school officials have warned 235 teaching positions may have to be eliminated and the entire adult education program wiped out.
Pyle credited Princeton students with an ability to "process information-they read a lot," so that they are more aware of the hazards of smoking.
"These are also people who, by nature, are capable of planning for the future," he said. "They are used to looking ahead, and they can see that in the long run, smoking will be harmful to them."