Smoking & Tobacco Control
AMA and the AMA Alliance, the largest volunteer arm of the AMA representing the families of medicine, are currently engaged in Screen Out!, a three year public awareness campaign with the ultimate goal of getting tobacco out of youth-rated films. Experts estimate that movies with tobacco imagery influence more than one third of all new teen smokers to start.
On May 7, 2008 the AMA hosted leaders in the field of tobacco at its headquarters in Chicago to present the 2008 Update to the Public Health Service Clinical Practice Guideline: Treating Tobacco Use an Dependence. Despite tremendous reductions in tobacco use, it still remains the number one preventable cause of death in the United States. The AMA endorses the guidelines and will be working to educate physicians on the availability of this valuable resource. According to a Partnership for Prevention report, providing smokers with advice and help in quitting is one of the top five most cost-effective preventative services.
The group of more than 100 medical and health care professionals were welcomed by Dr. Michael Maves, AMA Executive Vice President. Former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop offered comments, as did former AMA President Dr. Ron Davis.
AMA smoking cessation and other tobacco control activities are housed in the Office of Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Abuse Prevention in the Healthy Lifestyles Division. Federal laws and regulations and international tobacco control activities are also address by the AMA Advocacy staff.
Current activities include development and dissemination of tools for physicians to help patients to quit smoking and two cooperative agreements with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop education and audiovisual resources for physicians to counsel people on the health risks associated with and ways to avoid secondhand smoke exposure. A special focus is to decrease the exposure to secondhand smoke among low income patients and children with asthma and other negative health impacts from exposure.