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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

te sector should implement the recommendations of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer, a group of corporate, political and public health leaders that has established recommendations to fight cancer called the CEO Cancer Gold Standard. These recommendations include establishing and enforcing tobacco-free workplace policies; ensuring that health benefit plans include coverage at no cost for evidence-based tobacco cessation treatments (counseling and medications); and establishing workplace-based tobacco cessation initiatives. Studies have found that such initiatives save business money by reducing tobacco-related health care costs, while creating a healthier and more productive workforce.

The benefits of quitting smoking are dramatic. In just the first few weeks and months after quitting, blood circulation improves, carbon monoxide levels in the blood decrease, the risk of heart attack decreases, lung function and breathing are improved, and coughing decreases. Pregnant women who quit smoking before their second trimester decrease the chances that they will give birth to a low-birth-weight baby. Over the long term, quitting will reduce a person's risk of heart disease and stroke, improve symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), reduce the risk of developing smoking-caused cancer, and extend life expectancy.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in our nation, claiming more than 400,000 lives and costing us nearly $100 billion annually in health care bills. While adult smoking rates have been declining slowly in the United States, 20.8 percent of American adults still smoke, and the number of smokers is declining much too slowly to achieve the goal set by the federal government of reducing adult smoking to 12 percent or less by the year 2010. We cannot achieve this goal without significant national and state commitments to helping smokers quit.

The Public Health Service guidelines - Treating Tobacco Use and Dependenc
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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