Skip to comments.US: More work needed to stop youth tobacco use
Posted on 03/09/2012 8:32:31 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
RICHMOND, Va. -- More work needs to be done to keep young Americans from using tobacco, including creating smoking bans and increasing taxes on tobacco products, the U.S. Surgeon General's office said in a report released Thursday.
Almost one in five high school-aged teens smokes, down from earlier decades, but the rate of decline has slowed, the report said.
It says it's particularly important to stop young people from using tobacco because those who start smoking as teenagers can increase their chances of long-term addiction. They also quickly can experience reduced lung function, impaired lung growth, early heart disease and other health problems like asthma.
More than 80 percent of smokers begin by age 18 and 99 percent of adult smokers in the U.S. start by age 26, according to the 920-page report, which is the first comprehensive look at youth tobacco use from the surgeon general's office in nearly two decades.
"In order to end this epidemic, we need to focus on where we can prevent it and where we can see the most effect, and that's with young people," Surgeon General Regina Benjamin said in an interview with The Associated Press. "We want to make our next generation tobacco-free, and I think we can."
The report details youth tobacco use, health impacts, and tobacco marketing and prevention efforts in the U.S. Officials hope the information will reinvigorate anti-tobacco efforts and spark public activism in reducing death and disease caused by tobacco use.
The report also recommended anti-smoking campaigns and increased restrictions under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's authority to regulate tobacco as other ways to prevent adolescents and young adults from using tobacco products.
Benjamin did not point fingers on why youth tobacco use continues in the U.S. Instead, she wants to see how the nation as a whole can best address the issue, she said.
"I don't want to focus on blame, I want to focus on prevention," she said. "I want to make sure we're doing everything that we can to prevent kids from ever starting to smoke or use tobacco products."
The surgeon general's office last issued a report on youth tobacco use in 1994, the first wide-ranging report on the topic by federal health officials. The new report is the 31st issued by U.S. surgeons general to warn the public about tobacco's risks. The first report in 1964 declared tobacco to be deadly.
Since the 1994 report, smoking among high school students has declined from 27.5 percent to 19.5 percent, or about 3 million students, but the rate of decline has slowed in recent years. About 5.2 percent, or 600,000 middle school students also are current smokers. According to the report, every day in the U.S., more than 3,800 people under the age of 18 smoke their first cigarette and more than 1,000 of them become daily smokers. They replace the 1,200 people who die each day in the U.S. from smoking.
"Too many of our children are addicted, too many cannot quit, and too many go on to die far too young," Assistant Secretary for Health Howard Koh said at a Thursday news conference.
The report also examined advertising and promotional activities by tobacco companies, which have been shown to "cause the onset and continuation of smoking among adolescents and young adults."
Tobacco companies have spent increasing amounts of money on marketing efforts to reduce prices, which health officials said in the report could influence access to price-sensitive youth and make cigarettes more affordable.
Nanny State PING!
Would Barack consider making the supreme sacrifice of the weed himself? If he considers himself worthy of idolatry at least he could be a more decent idol.
Yup! The commies are raising taxes again in the name of “savin’ da planet”. God help us.
Totally outlaw it and stop subsidizing tobacco farms and tobacco farmers OR SHUT UP about it!
If the government spent more time worrying about illegal drugs and getting rid of them, we would be better off.
But, of course, you can’t tax illegal drugs ... it’s all about the tax dollars, not about our youth.
Whats the problem?...lol
Teen Mom reality TV star Jenelle smokes while pumping gas
Closet smoker and what else? Not man enough to say he does it so leave me alone. After all my health care will take care of me. Not all smokers get or have lung issues. If you are my age (64) you might remember your folks having people over and the room being so smoke filled you could barely see across it. If 2nd hand smoke was what they claim, wouldn’t most baby boomers be dead or suffering from lung ailments? I hate statistical norms being used to group smokers. How about individual assessments and get away from the insurance company statistical basis for things. What about free will? Leave me alone. If I want your help, I’ll ask for it.
This crap pisses me off, and I don’t smoke, never have.
But I am damned sick of this.
If people want to smoke, I could give a rat’s ass. They can sit next to me in the damned movies and smoke up a storm.
I am sick of tired of being told by the state what I can and cannot do, and it is making me grind my teeth to know that MY DAMNED TAX DOLLARS THAT I WORKED HARD TO EARN AND PAY IS BEING USED TO THIS END.
I feel like I have finally hit a wall on this. God help us all.
While our country as we know it is about to burst into flame, they fixate on this useless garbage.
And this is just one thing.
Take every other nanny state issue, trans-fats, global warming, too many to even think of or name, and think of all the government employees who monitor them, enforce them, have tax dollars allotted to them, it is staggering.
And Obamacare has not even hit its stride.
She blowed up real good!
I remember the old days, people smoked everywhere and nobody cared. I still don’t care, I smoke a good pipe of my own creation, an English blend mixed with a classic American burley with a hint of vanilla. I have even gotten grief when smoking outside from people afraid I was hurting their child from twenty feet away in open air.
What is wrong with these people?
I’m too tired (and probably too drunk- not really - just kidding on that) to get into the utter fiction of this.
In a nutshell, the government is talking out of both sides of its mouth -— they can’t function without the tax money they get from tobacco and so they just keep making up this BS and do more advertising for the tobacco industry than it is permitted to do.
“In order to end this epidemic,”
Notice the words. Since when does a behavior constitute a disease? You can have a flu epidemic or a plague epidemic but not a smoking epidemic. These people tried (and are still trying) to make a behavior a “disease” such as the “epidemic” of “gun violence.”
This stuff is all carefully planned.
Indeed. Most conservatives care about our children. Yes, yes the parents have a primary role but when that fails... Here is what Newt Gingrich (1997) said about society's role towards children.
Civilization cannot survive with twelve-year-olds having babies, fifteen-year-olds shooting one another, seventeen-year-olds dying of AIDS, and eighteen-year-olds graduating with diplomas they cannot read.
The SG adds no value. They are a worthless government entity that is always looking for a purpose and cause.
“Save the children,” got it. Who can be against that, right? It's like all other feel good nonsense from the government that can't be questioned.
That BIG Tobacco settlement of the mid-90s was supposed to be the cure-all for everything tobacco related.
Looks like they are trying to build the case for another BIG Tobacco settlement — which will be the cure-all for everything tobacco related — until another decade — and another bit settlement.
“Totally outlaw it and stop subsidizing tobacco farms and tobacco farmers OR SHUT UP about it!”
Exactly. They don’t go for an outright ban because they would lose a large revenue stream.
The anti-smoking zealots have made smoking the coolest thing imaginable for kids. When I was in high school, only losers smoked. Now, it’s the one thing a kid can do that will be a truly bad thing, so it is really cool.
Kids can have gay sex and everyone applauds, smoke pot — good.
Smoke tobacco — evil, therefore really, really cool.
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