NYC Raises Tobacco-Buying Age to 21
By Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — Smokers younger than 21 in the nation's biggest city will soon be barred from buying cigarettes after the New York City Council voted overwhelming Wednesday to raise the tobacco-purchasing age to higher than all but a few other places in the United States.
City lawmakers approved the bill — which raises from 18 to 21 the purchasing age for cigarettes, certain tobacco products and even electronic-vapor smokes — and another that sets minimum prices for tobacco cigarettes and steps up law enforcement on illegal tobacco sales.
"This will literally save many, many lives," said an emotional City Councilman James Gennaro, the bill's sponsor, whose mother and father died from tobacco-related illnesses. "I've lived with it, I've seen it…but I feel good today." ...
With Wednesday's vote, New York is by far the biggest city to bar cigarette sales to 19- and 20-year-olds. Similar legislation is expected to come to a vote in Hawaii this December.
Officials previously shelved a plan Bloomberg unveiled with fanfare earlier this year: forcing stores to keep cigarettes out of public view until a customer asks for them.
The city's current age limit is 18, a federal minimum that's standard in many places. Some states and communities have raised the age to 19. At least two towns, both in Massachusetts, have agreed to raise it to 21.
Advocates say higher age limits help prevent, or at least delay, young people from taking up a habit that remains the leading cause of preventable deaths nationwide. And supporters point to drinking-age laws as a precedent for setting the bar at 21. ...
Legal Battles Smolder Six Decades After "the Greatest Health Protection in Cigarette History"
By Myron Levin
It’s hard to think of anything more reckless than adding a deadly carcinogen to a product that already causes cancer—and then bragging about the health benefits.
That’s what Lorillard Tobacco did 60 years ago when it introduced Kent cigarettes, whose patented “Micronite” filter contained a particularly virulent form of asbestos. Smokers puffed their way through 13 billion Kents from March, 1952 until May, 1956, when Lorillard changed the filter design. Six decades later, the legal fallout continues—including last month when a Florida jury awarded record damages of more than $3.5 million.
Lorillard and Hollingsworth & Vose, the company that supplied the asbestos filter material, have faced numerous lawsuits by victims of mesothelioma, an extremely rare and deadly asbestos-related cancer that typically shows up decades after initial exposure. Plaintiffs have included factory workers who produced the cigarettes or filter material, and former smokers who say they inhaled microscopic asbestos fibers through the filters (Lorillard says hardly any fibers escaped.). ...
Time is on the companies’ side. Since factory workers and smokers with potential claims all are at least in their 70s and 80s, the strange saga of the asbestos filter should soon be coming to an end.
Surprisingly, however, there has been a burst of new cases in the last few years, according to filings with the SEC. Growing awareness of the asbestos episode is probably the cause. Nowadays, a mesothelioma patient is almost certain to be asked by his doctor or lawyer: Did you happen to smoke Kents in the 1950s? ...
Kent was Lorillard’s response to the health scare of the early 1950s, when the link between smoking and lung cancer began drawing wide attention. Tobacco companies scurried to roll out filters to calm jittery smokers and keep them from quitting in droves. The health benefits would prove illusory, but the switch to filters averted the potential loss of millions of customers.
Lorillard named its first filter for Herbert A. Kent, briefly its president, and aggressively touted the superiority of the Kent Micronite filter. It was a blend of cotton, acetate, crepe paper and crocidolite asbestos—sometimes called “African” or “Bolivian blue” asbestos because of its bluish tint. ...
CDC’s Anti-Smoking Ad Campaign Spurred Over 100,000 Smokers to Quit; Media Campaigns Must be Expanded Nationally and in the States
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 9, 2013
CONTACT: Peter Hamm, 202-296-5469
Statement of Susan M. Liss
Executive Director, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
WASHINGTON, DC – Year one of the federal government’s “Tips from Former Smokers” national advertising campaign exceeded all expectations, driving 1.6 million smokers to try to quit and helping more than 100,000 to succeed, according to a study published today in the medical journal The Lancet. The 2012 campaign, conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), also inspired millions of nonsmokers to encourage friends and family members to quit smoking. Researchers estimated that, by quitting, former smokers added more than a third of a million years of life to the U.S. population. The Tips campaign was the first ever federally-funded national media campaign aimed at reducing smoking.
This study provides powerful, real-world evidence that media campaigns work, they reduce smoking and they save lives. They are also cost-effective investments that can help reduce tobacco-related health care costs, which total $96 billion a year in the United States.
The CDC’s campaign was highly successful despite lasting only three months and costing only $54 million – less than 0.7 percent of the $8.8 billion the tobacco industry spends annually to market its deadly and addictive products. To win the fight against tobacco, we need more media campaigns like this, both nationally and in the states. Fortunately, the CDC recognizes this and conducted a second round of its campaign earlier this year. Similar national campaigns must be continued and expanded in the future.
It is also critical that the states increase funding for media campaigns as part of a comprehensive program to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit. The states collect nearly $26 billion a year in revenue from the 1998 tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes, but spend less than two percent of it – $459.5 million in fiscal year 2013 – on programs to reduce tobacco use, including media campaigns. They have cut funding for such programs by 36 percent in recent years.
To counter the marketing barrage of the tobacco industry and accelerate smoking declines in the U.S., both the federal government and the states must increase and sustain their commitment to fighting tobacco use, including with media campaigns. Campaigns to reduce smoking must be as aggressive and year-round as the tobacco industry’s promotion of its deadly products.
The success of the CDC’s media campaign also illustrates the value of the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which was created by the health care reform law and provided funding for the campaign. It underscores the public health fund’s enormous potential to improve health and reduce health care costs in the U.S.
The new study adds to the already substantial scientific evidence that mass media campaigns prevent children from smoking and help smokers quit, saving lives and health care dollars. Public health authorities including the Surgeon General, the National Cancer Institute, the Institute of Medicine and the CDC have all examined the evidence and concluded that these campaigns work.
States that have conducted extensive media campaigns as part of their tobacco prevention programs – including California, Florida, New York and Washington – have reduced smoking rates faster and to lower levels than the nation as a whole. Florida recently reported that its high school smoking rate fell to 8.6 percent in 2013, far below most states and the entire nation (the national rate was 15.8 percent in the most recent equivalent national survey, conducted in 2011). If every state reduced youth smoking to the same low rate as Florida, there would be 1.6 million fewer youth smokers in the U.S.
Research indicates the most effective anti-smoking media campaigns evoke strong emotions and realistically depict the terrible health consequences of tobacco use – just as the CDC ads do. We applaud the CDC for its strong leadership in the fight against tobacco use. We also thank the courageous former smokers who shared their heartbreaking health struggles with the entire country, telling the harsh truth about how devastating and unglamorous cigarette smoking truly is.
While the U.S. has made enormous progress in reducing smoking, tobacco use remains the nation’s number one cause of preventable death, killing more than 400,000 Americans every year. Media campaigns are an essential tool in winning the fight against the tobacco epidemic.
Smokers can get help in quitting by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visiting www.smokefree.gov.
Michigan Businesses Forced to Go Smoke-Free Seeing Positive Results
By Michael Martinez
More than three years after Michigan’s Smoke Free Air Law went into effect, bar and restaurant owners around Metro Detroit — and their customers — have adapted to the new policy.
While many restaurateurs concede business suffered initially after the law became effective in May 2010, the results have been mostly positive since. Prohibiting smoking in most public places has meant cleaner walls and vents, a more diverse clientele and a healthier environment for customers and employees alike.
“I think a lot of businesses have acclimated,” said Justin Winslow, vice president for government affairs at the Lansing-based Michigan Restaurant Association. “There was a recalibration that was difficult for some smaller bars. There was certainly a culture change that people had to adjust to.” ...
Some restaurant owners said they’ve seen an uptick in business.
“Business has nearly tripled,” said Felix Landrum, owner of Cafe Felix in Ann Arbor. “Our clientele has thrived without cigarettes.” ...
Despite the acceptance among many business owners, the law continues to have its opponents, including the Michigan Restaurant Association and the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association. ...
The Michigan Restaurant Association didn’t support the ban either, but Winslow said it’s “no longer an issue” anyone in the organization is pursuing.
“The culture in Michigan has acclimated,” he said. “I don’t believe it’s been as bad as some may have thought it was.” ...
Task Force Urges Scans for Smokers at High Risk
New York Times
By Sabrina Tavernise
WASHINGTON — An influential government health panel recommended [http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/draftrec.htm] on Monday that heavy smokers get an annual CT scan to check for lung cancer, a major change in policy that experts said had the potential to save 20,000 lives a year.
Until recently, the medical consensus has been that there is too little evidence to justify lung cancer screening, largely because a chest X-ray — the usual screening technique — seldom catches the cancer early enough for lifesaving surgery. ...
The recommendation by the United States Preventive Services Task Force, still in draft form, could change medical practice by making annual CT screening the standard of care for the highest-risk smokers.
And because insurers cover procedures strongly recommended by the task force, eligible patients would no longer have to bear the cost themselves. Under President Obama’s health care law, those who are eligible for the scan would have no co-pay. The procedure’s average price is about $170, according to the Advisory Board Company, a health care research firm in Washington, which polled oncology professionals.
Medicare would also begin reimbursing for the scan. A Medicare spokesman said the agency would not immediately comment on how much the new screenings could cost taxpayers.
The task force’s final recommendation will be issued three to six months after a public comment period, which ends on Aug. 26, a spokeswoman said.
Dr. Harold E. Varmus, the director of the National Cancer Institute, said the recommendation would “change the way people think about lung cancer.”
But he added that screening should not give smokers a false sense of security. “The main message is unchanged,” he said. “Don’t smoke.” Smoking is the culprit in about 85 percent of all lung cancer deaths. ...
Using modeling, the task force estimated that the screening would prevent about 14 percent of the 160,000 lung cancer deaths per year, Dr. LeFevre said.
82 Percent of Adults Support Banning Smoking When Kids Are in the Car
University of Michigan
Media Contact: Mary Masson 734-764-2220
Support also high for no smoking in businesses where children are allowed, homes with kids with asthma, says U-M National Poll on Children’s Health
A new poll shows 82 percent of adults support banning smoking in cars when children under 13 are riding in the vehicle.
According to the latest University of Michigan Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health, support is strong for prohibiting drivers and passengers from smoking when kids are in the car. However, only seven states nationwide have laws banning the practice.
Also in this month’s poll, 87 percent of adults said they’d support a ban on smoking in businesses where children are allowed. Seventy-five percent expressed support for banning smoking in homes where children have asthma or another lung disease.
“Smoke is a real health hazard for kids whose lungs are still developing, and especially for kids who have illnesses like asthma where the lungs are particularly fragile and flare up when exposed to secondhand smoke,” says Matthew M. Davis, M.D., M.A.P.P., director of the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.
Even among current smokers in the poll, more than one half supported bans that would protect children from secondhand smoke. For example, 60 percent of current smokers said they’d strongly support or support a ban on smoking in cars with children under 13 years old present, compared with 84 percent of former smokers and 87 percent of never-smokers.
“Although the number of people smoking has dropped dramatically in the last 50 years, secondhand smoke remains a health risk,” says Davis, who is associate professor of pediatrics and internal medicine at the U-M Medical School and associate professor of Public Policy at U-M’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.
In 2007 the American Academy of Pediatrics began advocating for specific legislation to prohibit smoking in cars with children present.
A 2006 study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found “alarming” levels of secondhand smoke were generated in just five minutes in vehicles under various driving, ventilation, and smoking conditions. According to the California Environmental Protection Agency, secondhand smoke in cars can be 10 times more concentrated than the level considered unhealthy by the U.S. EPA – and it is dangerous even if the windows are open.
Between 2006 and 2011, four states (Arkansas, California, Louisiana and Maine) enacted statewide bans on smoking in vehicles carrying children. In 2013 three states (Illinois, Oregon, Utah) have enacted similar laws.
The violations usually carry a fine and often can be enforced only if a police officer has stopped the driver for a separate traffic violation or other offense, much like current seat belt laws.
Four other states (Hawaii, Indiana, New Jersey, New York) have cities or counties that ban smoking in vehicles with children present.
“But this is about children’s health, not about writing tickets. Just having the laws in place raises awareness and discourages the behavior – reducing the chances that kids will be exposed to secondhand smoke,” says Davis.
“Given the high level of public support for laws prohibiting smoking in vehicles with children in this poll, it may be that the bans enacted by a small number of states should be considered by many more states, and perhaps at the national level,” Davis says. Currently, the federal government prohibits smoking on all commercial flights.
“Forty of the 50 states currently ban smoking in public places in one form or another. At this time, we are not aware of laws at this time that prohibit smoking in homes where children have asthma or other lung conditions. However, the level of public support for ways to reduce children’s exposure to secondhand smoke is so high that now may be the time to for public health officials and legislators to move forward on ideas like these to protect children’s health,” Davis says.
Full report: http://mottnpch.org/reports-surveys/broad-public-support-banning-smoking-vehicles-kids-present#
Teen Cigarette Smoking Drops to Lowest Point Recorded, Study Says
Los Angeles Times
By Emily Alpert
Cigarette smoking hit the lowest point ever recorded among American eighth-graders, high school sophomores and seniors last year, a newly released report shows.
Last year, only 5% of high school sophomores said they had smoked cigarettes daily in the last 30 days, compared with 18% of sophomores who were smoking daily at one point in the 1990s. The numbers have also plunged for eighth-graders and high school seniors, hitting their lowest point since the surveys began.
The change is just one of the findings in a vast new report on the well-being of American children, compiled by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. The report drew together research from a host of government agencies and research groups, including the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which tracked cigarette smoking. ...
Danny McGoldrick, vice president for research for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, argued that tobacco taxes, laws limiting where people can smoke and tobacco-prevention programs helped cut down the numbers. But the surveys show progress has slowed in recent years, with teen smoking rates falling only slightly from 2011 to 2012.
“We need to invest in more of what has worked in the past to accelerate these declines,” McGoldrick said. ...
[Note: The findings reported above are from the University of Michigan's "Monitoring the Future" study. To learn more, please see the press releases and monographs posted on the study's website at www.monitoringthefuture.org.]
Statewide Bans Boost Smoke-Free Campus Momentum
By Ally Mutnick
Lighting up on campus is becoming increasingly
difficult as more colleges and universities
completely ban smoking.
College smokers are finding themselves increasingly out of luck, as more schools across the USA ban smoking and use of other tobacco products from campus grounds.
There are about 1,180 schools with 100% smoking bans, according to the advocacy group Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights (ANR). Of these, about 800 campuses ban all forms of tobacco.
Originally starting on the community college level, the smoke-free trend is now growing larger.
In recent years, more university systems and even state governments are considering and passing bans affecting multiple campuses at once, said Liz Williams, project manager for ANR. ...
The number of states considering blanket bans on smoking is a testament to the increasing awareness of the harms of tobacco, said Clifford Douglas, director of the Tobacco Research Network at the University of Michigan.
"This is a sign of the change of times that the tobacco industry and its allies can no longer block public policy changes the way the industry once did," Douglas said.
For example, North Carolina, a prominent tobacco-growing state, is considering a statewide tobacco ban for community colleges in its legislature. ...
But Douglas admits the statewide university bans can be more complicated. When decisions are made on a state level, the individual campus has not always reviewed smoke-free policies as a community, he said.
In First, F.D.A. Rejects Tobacco Products
New York Times
By Sabrina Tavernise
The Food and Drug Administration announced on Tuesday that for the first time it had begun exercising its power to regulate cigarettes and other tobacco products, an authority it was given under a 2009 law supported by President Obama.
Agency officials said they had authorized the sale of two new products — both of them Newport cigarettes made by the Lorillard Tobacco Company — and rejected four others. The law forbade them to name the rejected products, they said.
Before the law, cigarettes were manufactured without any federal regulation. Instead, states decided where and how tobacco products would be sold, but had no authority over the ingredients they contained. Now, the F.D.A. is deciding which new products can be sold. In addition to cigarettes, the agency’s authority covers loose rolling tobacco, chewing tobacco and snuff.
The agency can reject cigarettes and other tobacco products that its scientists believe pose public health risks above and beyond comparable products already on the market, a sharp departure from past practice, when tobacco companies could change existing products and introduce new ones at will.
Advocates said the F.D.A.’s use of this authority was a milestone.
“This is the first time in history that a federal agency has told tobacco companies that they could not market a new or modified cigarette because of the public health problems they pose,” said Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, an advocacy group. ...
Kenneth E. Warner, a public health professor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, said the ruling might be an indication of the agency’s thinking on menthol. Newport cigarettes are traditionally menthol flavored, but the two types the agency approved did not contain the menthol additive. The agency is expected to rule on whether to ban menthol, but the timing is not known.
E-Cigarettes Are in Vogue and at a Crossroads
New York Times
by Liz Alderman
While e-cigarettes are still a fraction of the $80 billion-a-year market for smoking products in the United States, the growing popularity of vaping, as the practice is known, has touched off a clash in Europe between retailers and regulators. On Wednesday, the British government announced it would begin treating e-cigarettes as medicines, “so that people using these products have the confidence they are safe, are of the right quality and work.”
E-cigarettes and other nicotine products will be licensed in Britain starting in 2016, giving manufacturers time to ensure that their products comply with all standards for medicines. The British regulator says e-cigarettes aren’t recommended for use until then, but it won’t ban them entirely. Government officials in France this month announced they might ban the e-cigarettes in public spaces. Italy is considering banning them from schools.
In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration tried to block the sale of e-cigarettes, claiming that they were unapproved “drug/device combinations.” Manufacturers successfully challenged the agency’s position, but in a 2010 ruling, a federal appeals court held that e-cigarettes could be regulated by the agency as tobacco products.
An agency spokeswoman, Stephanie Yao, said the agency was preparing to release for public comment a proposed rule to regulate additional categories of tobacco products.
Currently, the F.D.A.’s tobacco regulations apply to cigarettes, tobacco and smokeless tobacco.
“Further research is needed to assess the potential public health benefits and risks of electronic cigarettes and other novel tobacco products,” Ms. Yao said in a statement.
Health officials say their safety has not been medically proved and the devices could encourage children to take up smoking. Some antismoking advocates, who are simply annoyed to see the gadgets glowing in restaurants and bars, call for a ban on their use in public places, the same ban in force for tobacco products. ...
“E-cigarette consumption could surpass traditional cigarettes in the next decade,” said Katherine Devlin, president of the London-based Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association. “Growth is exponential and there are no signs it’s slowing down. So there is a huge amount at stake.”
The Liberal Fighter: Remembering Sen. Frank Lautenberg (Featuring the Battle for Passage of the Airline Smoking Ban)
MSNBC: "All In with Chris Hayes"
Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey passed away on June 3, 2013, and Chris Hayes looks at one of his greatest victories: banning smoking on airlines. It's something that we take for granted but it happened because Senator Lautenberg was willing to fight the entrenched interests that wanted to keep smoking in every public space imaginable, regardless of who it might harm.
Unlicensed: The Real Story Behind Teenage Smoking - Parts 1 and 2
INGHAM COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS) - To prevent underage smoking, Ingham County licenses cigarette vendors, and revokes their license if a vendor continually sells tobacco to minors.
Statistics show licensing works, yet it's one of only three counties in the entire state to issue licenses, because for the other 80 counties in Michigan licensing cigarettes is illegal. The law which prevents it is the legacy of a strong tobacco lobby in Michigan that, 20 years after passage, still remains on the books.
Watch the entire story (Parts 1 and 2) at http://www.wlns.com/story/22274527/unlicensed-the-real-story-behind-teenage-smoking.
YouTube HD links:
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-8I2AmhlRA
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jLWI2GZn6I
No Significant Change Seen in Overall Smokeless Tobacco Use Among U.S. Youths
Science Daily (Science News ... ... from universities, journals, and other research organizations)
Israel T. Agaku, D.M.D., M.P.H., of the Harvard School of Public Health, and colleagues analyzed recent trends in prevalence of smokeless tobacco use among youths using the 2000-2011 National Youth Tobacco Survey, a biennial national cross-sectional survey of U.S. middle school and high school students. Samples during 2000 through 2011 ranged from 35,828 students in 324 schools in 2000 to 18,866 students in 178 schools in 2011.
The researchers found that no significant change in overall smokeless tobacco prevalence occurred between 2000 (5.3 percent) and 2011 (5.2 percent). Downward trends were observed in the age groups of 9 to 11 and 12 to 14 years. Prevalence increased in the age group of 15 to 17 years.
Campus Smoking Rate on the Decline (University of Michigan)
By Alicia Adamczyk
A survey conducted to gauge the success of the University’s smoking ban two years after its implementation shows promising results for those favoring a smoke-free campus.
According to the survey — which was completed by 2,022 students and 2,405 faculty and staff — 82.7 percent of students and 88.8 percent of faculty and staff said they supported the existence of the smoke-free campus policy. Additionally, 72 percent of faculty and 65 percent of students reported that they noticed a decrease in smoking on campus since the policy's implementation.
Prior to the smoking ban in 2011, the University of Michigan Substance Abuse Research Center performed a Student Life Survey to gain information on student and faculty smoking habits. According to a follow-up survey performed in November, the percentage of faculty and staff who self-reported smoking decreased from 6 percent in the 2011 survey to 4 percent.
The decision to implement a smoke-free initiative on campus was made by Dr. Robert Winfield, University chief health officer and director of University Health Services, along with other executive health officers.
“The goal of a smoke-free campus is to create a healthier campus that sets a good example for students passing through, and promotes health and wellness for them in the future,” Winfield said.
He said in the past, smoking hotspots included the benches around the Diag, the side entrance of the Union and the libraries on North Campus and Central Campus. He said there's been a “95 percent” decrease in activity around these areas since the ban went into effect. ...
Lena Gray, the smoke-free environment project coordinator for Michigan Healthy Community, said in a press release that smoking is still an issue on Central Campus.
“We are pursuing other approaches such as adding signage and sidewalk chalk messages, to remind everyone that those areas are smoke-free,” Gray said.
University President Mary Sue Coleman convened a Smoke-Free Advisory Committee at the inception of the ban that meets regularly to address issues such as littering and boundary recognition.
There are currently 1,159 completely smoke free campuses — including the University — across the U.S., according to a report from the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation. The University’s ban includes all buildings, residential facilities and outdoor areas.
HHS Launches BeTobaccoFree.gov
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 15, 2012
Contact: HHS Press Office
HHS Launches BeTobaccoFree.gov
Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced the launch of BeTobaccoFree.gov, a comprehensive website providing one-stop access to the best and most up-to-date tobacco-related information from across its agencies. This consolidated resource includes general information on tobacco, federal and state laws and policies, health statistics, and evidence-based methods on how to quit.
“Tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of premature and preventable death in the United States,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “BeTobaccoFree.gov builds upon the Obama administration’s commitment to help tobacco users quit and prevent children from starting to use tobacco products.”
BeTobaccoFree.gov uses responsive design, making information accessible anywhere, anytime on any platform, from smart phone to tablet to desktop. The website’s unique social media dashboard, “Say it - Share it,” constantly provides real time updates from HHS tobacco related social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Infographics, Podcasts, and Tumblr.
“HHS is committed to using technology to help Americans lead longer healthier lives,” said Assistant Secretary for Health Howard K. Koh, M.D., M.P.H. “Today, as we commemorate the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout, the launch of BeTobaccoFree.gov demonstrates our dedication to reducing the harms from tobacco use. Regardless of age, those who stop smoking and using tobacco can substantially reduce their risk for disease.”
During the last three years, HHS increased efforts to reduce tobacco use by coordinating across its agencies, to provide Americans with access to available cessation and education tools. A few key accomplishments include:
* As a result of the Affordable Care Act, most private health insurance plans must now cover without cost-sharing tobacco use screening and cessation interventions for tobacco users.
* The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched Tips From Former Smokers, a national education campaign that featured former smokers living with smoking-related diseases and disabilities.
* The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) built a national science-based tobacco product regulation program to reduce the impact of tobacco use on the nation’s health, especially among youth, such as enforcing the ban on cigarettes with characterizing flavors other than menthol like candy and fruit, as well as other restrictions on tobacco products and marketing.
* The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recently launched Quitpal, a free smartphone app to support smokers working to become smoke-free.
* The Surgeon General released Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults. This 2012 report detailed the scope, health consequences and influences that lead to youth tobacco use and proven strategies that prevent its use.
Just today, CDC, in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, released new information indicating that 30 of America’s 50 largest cities are now protected by comprehensive laws that prohibit smoking in all indoor areas of private workplaces, restaurants and bars. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also released a new report today, showing that current cigarette smoking rates among 12-to 17-year-olds fell significantly from 2002 to 2010 in 41 states.
Collectively, these actions better enable the United States to accelerate progress toward achieving the national Healthy People objectives of reducing adult smoking from 19 percent to 12 percent and reducing smoking among high school students from 18.1 percent to 16 percent by 2020.
Visit www.BeTobaccoFree.gov for information on helping tobacco users quit and providing young people with information on avoiding or ending tobacco use.
Here is The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) new report http://www.samhsa.gov/data/2k12/NSDUH112/SR112StateEstAdolCigUse2012.htm
For more information on the Surgeon General released Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and young Adults, please visit http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/preventing-youth-tobacco-use/index.html
For more information on CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/
Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at http://www.hhs.gov/news.
You can follow HHS on Twitter @HHSgov and sign up for HHS Email Updates.