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CDC Reports Drop in Adult Smoking, But Death Toll and Health Costs Are Still Growing; Congress, States Should Implement Proven Solutions
Date:11/13/2008

roducts; require tobacco

companies to disclose the contents of tobacco products; grant the FDA

authority to regulate the contents of tobacco products; and stop tobacco

companies from making misleading or unproven health claims.

-- Congress should also significantly increase the federal tobacco tax and

utilize some of the revenue to fund a national public education and

smoking cessation campaign. The report's finding that fewer adults

are trying to quit smoking makes critical that we undertake efforts to

encourage them to do so and help them succeed.

-- The states must redouble efforts to increase tobacco taxes, enact

comprehensive smoke-free workplace laws and fund tobacco prevention and

cessation programs at CDC-recommended levels. Most states have failed to

fund these programs at recommended levels and spend only about three

percent of the billions of dollars they collect each year from the

tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes on tobacco prevention and

cessation. The states are spending $718.1 million this year on tobacco

prevention programs, which is 269 times less than the health care and

productivity costs of smoking.

Reductions in adult smoking have been largely the result of efforts at the state and local level, including higher tobacco taxes, a growing number of smoke-free laws and well-funded tobacco prevention and cessation programs in some states. The few states and localities that have implemented a comprehensive strategy that includes all three measures have been especially successful. For example, Washington state and New York City have reduced adult smoking rates to 16.5 percent and 16.9 percent respectively, well below the national rate.

While continued state and local efforts are critical, the IOM report concluded that the states alone cannot solve the tobacco problem. The fe
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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