WASHINGTONFully implementing proven antismoking programs and
approaches could slash the smoking rate of teenagers and adults by
half in the United States within the decade, according to
Reducing Tobacco Use, a new report from the US Surgeon General.
The report stresses the importance of combining proven methods to
substantially reduce tobacco use. According to the Department of
Health and Human Services, Reducing Tobacco Use is the
first in-depth analysis of the effectiveness of various
tobacco-reduction techniques and assesses educational, clinical,
regulatory, economic, and social efforts.
During the past four decades, we have made unprecedented gains
in preventing and controlling tobacco use, said Surgeon General
David Satcher, MD. However, the sobering reality is that
smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in
our nation, and those who suffer the most are poor Americans,
minority populations, and young people. Although our knowledge
remains imperfect, we know more than enough to address the tobacco
control challenges of the 21st century.
The report was developed at the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) and released at the 11th World Conference on Tobacco
or Health, held in Chicago. The report recommends:
Implementing effective school-based programs, combined with
community and media activities, which could prevent or postpone the
onset of smoking in 20% to 40% of adolescents. Less than 5% of
schools nationwide now have such programs.
Changing physician behavior, medical system procedures, and
insurance coverage to encourage full use of nicotine-addiction treatment.
Passing and enforcing regulations barring indoor smoking.
Improving tobacco-warning labels. Current labels provide
little information about the ingredients, additives, and potential
toxicity of tobacco products.
Hiking tobacco prices and excise taxes. The report suggests
that a 10% price increase will reduce overall cigarette consumption
by 3% to 5%.
Reducing the broad cultural acceptability of tobacco use.