2016 National Youth Tobacco Survey Results Show Progress, Continued Efforts Needed by Federal Government to Fight Tobacco Use
(June 15, 2017) - CHICAGO
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– Statement of American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold P. Wimmer in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report “Tobacco Use Among Middle and High School Students—United States, 2011–2016” released today:
“CDC has found significant declines in youth tobacco use from 2015 to 2016 – including a decline from 25.3 percent to 20.2 percent among high school students – which illustrates that continued efforts to reduce tobacco use can make a difference. While this study shows we’re on the right path, it also confirms that we still have much work to do to eliminate tobacco use among our nation's youth. With the staggering health risks and deaths associated with tobacco use, it’s unacceptable that more than 20 percent of our nation’s youth still use at least one tobacco product, including e-cigarettes.
“The hard-won progress our nation has made in reducing tobacco use is in jeopardy from President Trump’s 2018 budget proposal, which eliminates the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health – the office specifically dedicated to fighting tobacco use. Funding to states would also be severely cut, making it even harder to prevent and reduce tobacco use in local communities across the country. Congress must reconsider this ill-advised budget and robustly fund the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health.
“Tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States, killing close to half a million Americans every year. Now is not the time to make cuts to tobacco programs, when this study shows investments in prevention will reduce youth tobacco use and addiction. Our nation has worked too hard to reduce youth tobacco use to reverse course now.
“Another key part of preventing youth tobacco use is oversight by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Trump Administration must also allow the FDA to move forward with its full authority over all tobacco products in order to protect our youth from the flavored tobacco products designed and marketed specifically to attract kids, especially e-cigarettes and flavored cigars. The lives of our children and their futures are on the line, and we must do more to prevent and reduce tobacco use.”
For media interested in speaking with an expert about tobacco, e-cigarettes and tobacco prevention, contact Allison MacMunn at the American Lung Association at Media@Lung.org or 312-801-7628. Our “State Tobacco Control” 2017 report (Lung.org/sotc) grades the progress of the federal government and states in fighting youth tobacco use and promoting tobacco control overall as of January 2017.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.