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AMA Comments on CDC’s Tobacco Control State Highlights Report

Progress has been made, but the U.S. can do more to curb tobacco use

For immediate release:
April 23, 2010

Statement attributable to:      
Mary Anne McCaffree, MD
Board Member, American Medical Association

"This report shows that while progress has been made in some areas of tobacco control, states need to focus on enacting policies proven to have the greatest impact on lowering tobacco use, such as raising tobacco taxes, passing comprehensive smoke-free laws and developing hard- hitting media campaigns. 

"The AMA is pleased to see that nearly half of states have passed comprehensive smoke-free laws and that 14 states and Washington, D.C. have raised taxes on cigarettes. These actions can help limit exposure to secondhand smoke and discourage cigarette use. We urge states that haven’t taken these steps to consider doing so for the health of their residents.

"Insurance coverage for smoking cessation programs can be the deciding factor for people considering quitting, and more needs to be done nationwide to ensure that those who want to quit have access to the help they need.

"The negative health effects of tobacco use are abundantly clear, yet progress on reducing smoking rates has stalled. We can do more to help control tobacco use in the U.S. and help Americans quit smoking to live longer, healthier lives."

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Media contact:

Lisa Lecas
AMA Media Relations
312-464-5980