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New Guidelines Show Smokers Have More Tools to Quit Than Ever, But Elected Officials Must Do More to Help
Date:5/7/2008

WASHINGTON, May 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement by William V. Corr, Executive Director, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids:

The guidelines for smoking cessation released today by the U.S. Public Health Service provide an important reminder to the nation's 45 million smokers that they have more scientifically proven tools available to help them quit smoking and protect their health than ever before, including safe and effective medications, counseling and telephone quitlines. Combining counseling and medication is especially effective in helping smokers quit. These findings are based on a thorough review of the evidence and have critical implications for policymakers as well as medical providers.

Unfortunately, while most smokers want to quit, and millions try each year, most do not avail themselves of the evidence-based treatments that improve success rates. While the guidelines address actions clinicians can take, policy makers at all levels, as well as employers, also need to take action to prevent kids from smoking in the first place, encourage smokers to quit, enhance awareness of the treatments available and provide affordable access to these live-saving interventions. As the guidelines emphasize, providing insurance coverage for these evidence-based treatments increases both the rates that smokers use these treatments and the rates that smokers quit.

Federal government: Congress and the Administration should implement the National Action Plan for Tobacco Cessation recommended by an expert scientific advisory panel to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The plan calls for increasing the federal cigarette tax by $2 per pack and using at least half the revenue for smoking cessation initiatives including: a national telephone quitline through which smokers could obtain cessation medication and counseling; a national paid media campaign encouraging cessation (such a campaign should also include a
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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