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Preventing tobacco-caused cancer: a call to action.

Environmental Health Perspectives
Environmental Health Perspectives
Publication Date
  • Research Article
  • Law
  • Medicine


Nicotine addiction is the most common serious medical problem in the country. Tobacco use is responsible for 30% of cancer deaths in the United States and 90% of all lung cancer deaths. The physical addiction to nicotine explains why over 30% of Americans continue to smoke or use tobacco despite their desires and efforts to quit. The testimony summarized in this paper recommends four broad strategies for preventing tobacco-caused cancers in the United States: a) mandating and reimbursing effective treatments for nicotine addiction; b) increasing Federal and state tobacco excise taxes and earmarking a fraction of tax revenues for tobacco prevention and cessation; c) enacting other policy changes to prevent tobacco use and addiction among children, including expanded clean indoor air legislation, comprehensive youth tobacco access legislation, and the regulation of tobacco products and their advertising and promotion; and d) expanding tobacco control research and critical Federal research support. Specific recommendations are given for each broad strategy.

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