Ending Cigarette Use by Adults in a Generation is Possible: the views of 120 leaders in tobacco control

Michael Terry, John Seffrin, Ph.D., K. Michael Cummings, Ph.D., Allan Erickson, and Donald Shopland; Authors Core Team on Tobacco Control, February 2017

Clarion Call to Action

Chronic exposure to tobacco smoke is the single largest cause of preventable illness and premature death in the United States today. In spite of significant progress in tobacco control over the last half century, tobacco use is still the cause of nearly one in every four deaths daily in America. 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.