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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

strong youth prevention component); providing coverage for smoking-cessation counseling and FDA-approved medicines under federally funded health care programs including Medicare and Medicaid; increased investment in research to improve smoking cessation therapies; and training for health care providers in treating tobacco dependence. The only portion of this plan the Administration has implemented is a network of state quitlines.

Congress should also pass legislation giving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to regulate tobacco products. Tobacco companies take advantage of the current lack of regulation to manipulate their products to create and sustain addiction to nicotine and engage in marketing that discourages smokers from quitting. The pending legislation would grant the FDA authority to stop these harmful practices, including setting standards for the contents of tobacco products, banning misleading terms such as "light" and "low-tar," and prohibiting health claims about so-called "reduced risk" products that are not scientifically proven or that would discourage current tobacco users from quitting. The bill would also crack down on tobacco marketing and sales to kids.

State and local government: At the state and local level, elected officials should fund tobacco prevention and cessation programs at the levels recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Effective programs not only provide counseling and medication to smokers, they also motivate smokers to quit and educate them about the best ways to do so. State governments should also provide full smoking cessation benefits to Medicaid recipients and all government employees.

States and localities should also continue the strong momentum in support of higher tobacco taxes and smoke-free workplace laws, which are scientifically proven to motivate smokers to quit and increase the number who succeed in doing so.

Employers: The priva
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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