Feb. 10 2000
Washington, DC - Comprehensive state tobacco prevention programs are succeeding in reducing smoking rates and saving lives, according to a new report released today by the National Cancer Policy Board, a joint program of the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council.
The report, entitled "State Programs Can Reduce Tobacco Use," concludes, "As states contemplate increasing their tobacco control efforts, many have asked if such programs can make a difference. The evidence is clear: They can."
The study also reached several specific conclusions about tobacco prevention efforts: programs are most effective when they are multifaceted; the effectiveness of counteradvertising and education depend on their "intensity" and "dose"; and raising the price of tobacco products is one of the fastest and most effective ways to discourage children from smoking.
The CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE KIDS urged governors and state legislators to act on the report's findings by investing tobacco settlement funds in comprehensive tobacco prevention programs.
"With such overwhelming evidence that comprehensive programs work, state legislators have no excuse not to invest tobacco settlement dollars in tobacco prevention," said CAMPAIGN President Matthew L. Myers. "It is unconscionable that any state would deny its citizens such clear and demonstrated public health benefits."
The report points out that the most aggressive and comprehensive programs have achieved the most striking results:
Comprehensive tobacco prevention includes cessation programs, public education, countermarketing media campaigns, and enforcement of youth access laws as well as increasing state excise taxes on tobacco.
The study can be found on the Internet at http://books.nap.edu/books/NI000240/html/1.html.