By: Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, U.S. Surgeon General and Jimmy Kolker, HHS Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs
This May 31st we mark “World No Tobacco Day” – a day to not only highlight the tragic consequences of tobacco use, but also to reaffirm our commitment to the goal of Tobacco-Free Living where we work, learn, play, and live.
Tobacco control is a global priority. In the United States, tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death, resulting in more than 480,000 deaths a year and an estimated cost of $289 billion annually in direct medical care and lost productivity from cigarette smoking alone. We have made great strides to reduce tobacco use in the last 50 years, but smoking rates remain too high. In order to achieve the national goal under Healthy People 2020 to reduce adult cigarette smoking to 12 percent by 2020, we need to continue a multi-pronged approach to combat tobacco use. For example, the Affordable Care Act significantly expanded health care coverage for tobacco cessation interventions and initiated the evidence-based tobacco media campaign, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) nation-wide Tips from Former Smokers (Tips).READ MORE: World No Tobacco Day: Fighting Tobacco Use Here and Abroad