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CDC Reports that Adult Smoking Declines Have Stalled; Elected Officials Should Step up Fight Against Tobacco
Date:11/8/2007

WASHINGTON, Nov. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement of William V. Corr, Executive Director, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids:

Sounding an alarm that should be heard in Congress and statehouses across the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported today that the adult smoking rate in the United States was at a standstill for the second year in a row in 2006 after several years of steady declines. The CDC reported that 20.8 percent of U.S. adults smoked in 2006, about the same as the 20.9 percent who smoked in 2004 and 2005. This stall follows a 15.4 percent decline in adult smoking between 1997 and 2004 (from 24.7 percent to 20.9 percent).

Youth smoking declines have similarly stalled in recent years after declining significantly since the mid-1990s, and 23 percent of high school students still smoke, according to the most recent CDC data.

It is troubling news for America's health that progress has stalled in reducing tobacco use, the nation's number one preventable cause of death. It is also inexcusable that elected leaders have not done more given the overwhelming scientific evidence of what works to reduce tobacco use among both children and adults. Just this year, landmark reports by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies of Sciences and the President's Cancer Panel have agreed on the steps that Congress and the states must take to significantly reduce and eventually eliminate the tobacco epidemic:

-- Congress should enact legislation granting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authority over tobacco products, including the authority to regulate the contents of tobacco products and to stop tobacco marketing that appeals to children and misleads consumers. With this legislation, Congress can crack down on some of the most harmful tobacco industry practices that have undermined efforts to reduce tobacco use. It is also imperative that Congress significantly inc
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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