Clarion Call to Action
…we call for action now to reignite the nation’s tobacco control efforts
Unlike 50 years ago, we now know the things we need to do to prevent addiction to tobacco, and to help adults quit smoking. Thus, most of the tobacco-induced illnesses and deaths could be avoided, if we as a nation chose to make that happen.
Because tobacco-induced illnesses and deaths almost always strike people in the prime of life, their negative economic impact on the nation is huge, due to lost productivity and extraordinary health care costs.
If the United States is to be competitive in the global marketplace in the future, and eventually become the healthiest nation, then tobacco control must become the top public health priority for the nation.
Toward that end, we call for action now to reignite the nation’s tobacco control efforts, and we urge the public sector to work with the private sector and the social sector in eliminating tobacco use in America at the earliest possible time.
MISSION STATEMENT (download)
The mission of the National Tobacco Reform Initiative (NTRI) team is to facilitate open and evidence-based discussions about the most effective ways to reduce the number of current adult smokers in the U.S. by at least 15 million by the year 2024, an interagency-approved goal.
FOCUS AND KEY FUNCTIONS
In carrying out its mission, the team will support the three (3) priority actions ranked the highest in a study of 120 tobacco control leaders recently carried out by the National Tobacco Reform Initiative:
- Increase excise taxes at the federal level and in many states with four (4) goals: lower adult smoking rates, harmonize taxes across state borders to reduce illicit trade, cover the costs of smoking-related disease, and encourage a shift from cigarettes to reduced-risk products and complete cessation;
- Encourage health and life insurers, employers and health professionals to actively promote smoking cessation measures supported by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and the 2014 U.S. Surgeon General’s Report;
- Establish a more rational tobacco, nicotine and alternative products regulatory framework based on their relative risks, and that is adaptable to the increased speed of innovation in new technology development.
These three (3) priority actions, which share a common objective of reducing the harm caused by combustible cigarettes, are intended to complement other tobacco control activities which are already being actively pursued.
The NTRI team will look for opportunities to individually and collectively engage in and facilitate dialogue with others, including but not limited to, public health organizations, health care professionals, the research community, governmental agencies and policy makers at the federal, state and local levels, consumers, the media, and tobacco and nicotine product trade associations and manufacturers (where appropriate).
The NTRI team will also identify, call attention to and help to resolve major barriers, program and outreach deficiencies, inhibiting progress toward the 2024 goal.
Special Notice – Should you have questions or concerns about the above background information, want a copy of the Executive Summary Report on the recent study’s findings and recommendations, or wish to join the NTRI team in its important work, please contact us.
National Tobacco Reform Initiative News
Poster Presentation: Support for a Policy Regulating Nicotine in Cigarettes: Findings from The International Tobacco Control (ITC) Project
Support for a Policy Regulating Nicotine in Cigarettes: Findings from The International Tobacco Control (ITC) Project Download a PDF Cummings KM1, Nahhas GJ1, Smith TT1, Fong GT2,3, Hammond D2, Chung-Hall J2, McNeill A4, Hitchman S4, O’Connor RJ5, Borland R6, Yong...read more
March 2018 National Tobacco Reform Initiative (NTRI) In October 2013, Core Team representatives and the tobacco control leaders of a dozen of the major national voluntary health organizations met in Washington, DC to explore ways these groups could celebrate the 50th...read more
ATLANTA, GEORGIA –February 16, 2018 The much anticipated NASEM report on e-cigarettes supports the FDA’s bold new two-part nicotine strategy for product regulation: (1) reduce the addictiveness and appeal of deadly combustible cigarettes; and, (2) make safer...read more
NTRI’s Abrams: Smokers should use e-cigarettes if they can’t quit completely. Withholding e-cigarettes as an alternative from smokers who are unable to quit equals supporting the continued use of conventional cigarettes, said David Abrams, a member of the National...read more
Public Health England (PHE) has issued a detailed 243 page report examining the health implications of e-cigarette use. Titled “Evidence Review of E-cigarettes and Heated Tobacco Products 2018”, this is the second report on the topic of e-cigarettes to be issued by a...read more
The science base clearly demonstrates that e-cigarettes represent less of a risk for smokers than continuing to smoke. NTRI team member, John Seffrin, Ph.D., says: “After fighting the tobacco epidemic for over 5 decades, we now have proven harm reduction methods to help us avoid a carnage in otherwise preventable deaths.”
Now is the time to act:
Approach regulation of tobacco and nicotine products according to their relative risk;
Educate smokers that nicotine delivered without smoke is a less harmful choice and that there are massive differences in risk across the products;
Pursue regulations that work to enable smokers to switch completely to the much less hazardous noncombustible products such as snus, and e-cigarettes.
Actions to Accelerate the Decline in Adult SmokingThree actions that need to be underpinned by lay and professional media advocacy for adult tobacco cessation.
Three Priority Actions to Accelerate Decline in Adult Smoking
Increase excise taxes at the federal level and in many states with four (4) goals: lower smoking rates, harmonize taxes across state borders to reduce illicit trade, cover the costs of smoking-related disease, and encourage a shift from cigarettes to reduced-risk products and complete cessation.
Encourage health and life insurers, employers, and health professionals to actively promote smoking cessation measures supported by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and the 2014 U.S. Surgeon General’s Report.
Establish a more rational tobacco, nicotine, and alternative products regulatory framework based on their relative risks, and that is adaptable to the increased speed of innovation in new technology development.
– Why take action now –
Interviews with three women whose loved ones died from tobacco related illness
From 1964 to 2012, 20 million Americans died from diseases caused by cigarette smoking.
Big tobacco has killed more Americans in a three year period than all deaths caused by America’s enemies, foreign and domestic, from the birth of the country to today.
A Letter to FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb
“Of particular importance to the FDA is priority number #3, which calls for: The establishment of a more rational tobacco, nicotine and alternative products regulatory framework based on their relative risks, and that is adaptable to the increased speed of innovation in new technology development.”
“…We encourage the FDA to take a leadership role in helping begin a discussion and dialogue about ‘what is working and what is not’ with respect to the TCA, and how it can be ‘modernized’ to better serve the public health interests of our society. This discussion should not only take place at the FDA, but also in other public and private sector venues as well.”
— TRI GROUP MEMBERS —
David Abrams, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Social & Behavioral Sciences, College of Global Public Health, NYU; Former staff leader at the Truth Initiative
Health Policy Consultant to the Morven Dialogue, University of Virginia
K. Michael Cummings, PhD, MPH
Professor, Department o Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina; Co-leader, Tobacco Research Program, Hollings Cancer Center
Former Vice President for Public Education/Tobacco Control, American Cancer Society; Director, Latin American Coordinating Committee for Tobacco Control, International Union for Cancer Control
Attorney General, State of Iowa
Ray Niaura, Ph.D.
Professor, School of Public Health Global Studies, NYU; Former staff leader at the Truth Initiative
John Seffrin, Ph.D.,
Professor of Practice, School of Public Health, Indiana University at Bloomington
Founder and President, Foundation for a Smoke-Free World; Former Executive Director, Framework Convention for Tobacco Control, World Health Organization (WHO)
— TRI TEAMS MEMBERS —
Director, Counterfactual Consulting United (UK)
Lawrence (Larry) Green, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus; Former Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistiics, School of Medicine, University of California at San Francisco
Michael McGinnis, M.D.
Senior Scholar and Executive Director, National Academy of Medicine (NAM)
Ken Warner, Ph.D.
Avedis Donabedian Distinguished University Professor of Public Health, University of Michigan School of Public Health
Dedicated to the Memory of
Charles Aubrey (Mickey) LeMaistre, M.D.
A Tobacco Control Pioneer –
Public health and smoking control lost one of its most ardent supporters on Saturday, January 18, 2017 with the death of Charles “Mickey” LeMaistre at age 92.·
“Extraordinary” is the only word that adequately describes Mickey’s long career dedicated to improving the health of this nation. In 1962, at the age of 38, he was the youngest member appointed to serve on Surgeon General Luther Terry’s Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health that issued its landmark report linking cigarette smoking to lung cancer, heart and lung issues. Mickey was the last surviving member of the Advisory Committee.
Mickey served as a Chancellor of the University of Texas System for seven years (1971-1978) where he directed a significant expansion of the UT System, including new medical schools in Houston and San Antonio, and new Universities in Dallas, Odessa and San Antonio before becoming President of MD Anderson Cancer Center. During 18 years as the second full-time President of MD Anderson, Mickey led the institution through the period of substantial growth in programs, personnel, facilities, private philanthropy and reputation.
“The Executive Summary Report provides the three essential interventions that must be enhanced and given the highest priority if we are to accelerate the dramatic reduction in cigarette smoking in adults achieved over the last five decades. This landmark Report represents a consensus of the opinions of those who led the highly successful past efforts toward a society free from cigarettes”.
Mickey LeMaistre – November 6, 2016
Smoking control was an important and ongoing part of his life-long cancer prevention message. He chaired the National Conference on Smoking OR Health in 1981, the International Summit of Smoking Control Leaders in 1985, and he served as President of the American Cancer Society in 1987; he also chaired the Society’s National Committee on Tobacco and Cancer for two years.
In recognition of his life-time commitment to cancer prevention and control, the ACS presented Dr. Charles LeMaistre with its highest tribute, the Medal of Honor.