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Experts in Government, Public Health, Public Policy and Science Outline Blueprint for Reducing Death and Disease From Tobacco in the United States
Date:2/24/2009

r smoke unless there is sufficient scientific evidence that risk has been reduced as well
  • Regulation of harmful compounds in all tobacco products
  • Accurate education of the public regarding the relative risks of different nicotine-containing products
  • Higher taxes on cigarettes
  • Expanded anti-tobacco advertising
  • Strong programs to encourage and support tobacco cessation
  • In addition, the Dialogue embraced the concept known as the "continuum of risk." This principle unified Dialogue participants with differing views on more controversial issues, such as the appropriate role of oral tobacco products. The Dialogue acknowledged that cigarettes are the most harmful tobacco product and that, under the continuum, medicinal nicotine products such as nicotine gum and patches are less harmful than oral tobacco products.

    These recommendations are made at a time when tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the U.S. and costs our society almost $200 billion per year. Nearly 440,000 people will die this year alone in the U.S. from tobacco related illnesses. Around the world, an estimated one billion people will die prematurely from tobacco use this century, a ten-fold increase over the 20th century if current trends continue. Recent products offered by the tobacco industry claim reductions in exposure to toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke and oral tobacco. Some make implied or direct claims to reduce the risk of cancer or other diseases. However, public health experts caution that these claims have not been scientifically substantiated. Such misrepresentations can lead to misperceptions about the safety of these products and result in greater tobacco use.

    "Our report is a blueprint," said Dialogue co-chair Dorothy Hatsukami. "It lays out the key elements of a science-based regulatory progra
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    SOURCE American Legacy Foundation
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