Statement of Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association, in response to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on the impact of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) "The Real Cost" Smoking Prevention Media Campaign:
"The FDA's 'The Real Cost' Campaign has prevented approximately 350,000 of our nation's youth from starting to smoke. By stopping our nation's youth from starting a lifetime addiction to smoking that would otherwise result in almost half of them dying prematurely from a tobacco-caused disease, 'The Real Cost' Campaign is saving lives.
"The best way to end our nation's addiction to tobacco is to prevent tobacco use before it starts. FDA's 'The Real Cost' campaign is a public health winner. Each year, an estimated 900,000 youth smoke their first cigarette, providing the 'next generation' of smokers to replace the 480,000 Americans who die each year from tobacco. Tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States—and for every person who dies from smoking, there are 30 people living with a serious smoking-related disease, costing the United States over $175 billion a year in healthcare spending.
"The American Lung Association applauds FDA for its well-researched and evidence-based campaign. We call on the Trump Administration to support and continue 'The Real Cost' campaign – and spare another generation of our nation's youth from the death and disease caused by tobacco use."
For media interested in speaking with an expert about tobacco use and quitting tobacco contact the American Lung Association at [email protected] or 312-801-7628.