It is probably fair to say that tobacco products are typically the first drug people try. If we believe there is a correlation between people going from one drug to another, then it is probably a good idea to discourage people from ever picking up cigarettes or chewing tobacco. A new report that should be released March 8 by the U.S. Surgeon General’s office will encourage increased state funding for anti-smoking programs.
Unfortunately, despite success in the past, such programs have been cut due to budgetary problems, according to the Associated Press. Clearly, the less people smoke means the less money that needs to be shelled out for health care costs.
“It is a hard-hitting report and it’s going to say, ‘Why haven’t we ended this epidemic? Why are we still feeding all these replacement smokers into a deadly industry?’” said Terry Pechacek, Director for Science in the Office on Smoking and Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In October, the FDA and the National Institutes of Health announced they will conduct a study to determine the effects of new tobacco regulations on the health and behavior of smokers and potential smokers. The study will include 40,000 people ages 12 and up. In November, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it will spend about $600 million over five years on a campaign to educate the public regarding the dangers of tobacco products.
Hopefully, the Surgeon General’s report will have a far reaching effect and the funding that is desperately required to curb this problem will be obtained. The more people we can stop from ever starting as well as convincing existing smokers to quit, the healthier we will be as a whole.