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The Kids Will Be All Right (If They Don't Smoke)

  • Steven A. Schroeder
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to: Steven A. Schroeder, MD, University of California San Francisco, 3333 California Street, Suite 430, San Francisco CA 94143-1211
    Affiliations
    Division of General Internal Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California
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      Progress against tobacco use relies on two trends—the ability of smokers to quit and the initiation of smoking, mainly by youth and young adults. Why is that progress so excruciatingly slow? After all, we have abundant knowledge of which public policies and clinical interventions work.
      • Warner K.E.
      Tobacco policy research: insights and contributions to public health policy.
      • Fiore M.C.
      • Jaen C.R.
      • Baker T.B.
      • et al.
      Treating tobacco use and dependence: 2008 update Clinical practice guideline.
      In part, tobacco use remains a huge problem because of failure to apply what we know. This occurs because of the appeal of other public health issues, such as childhood obesity, state fiscal crises that imperil funds for proven strategies such as counteradvertising and toll-free telephone quitlines, and a sense of complacency that the battle is already won.
      • Schroeder S.A.
      • Warner K.E.
      Don't forget tobacco.
      In part, progress is stymied because of insufficient knowledge. Previously in this journal, I outlined a set of unanswered questions whose resolution would be important in designing successful strategies to reduce population smoking levels.
      • Schroeder S.A.
      Strategies to reduce tobacco use: the role of state research.
      These questions focused on aspects of tobacco use and cessation strategies among specific populations—light and intermittent smokers, people with mental health and substance use disorders, and the gay/lesbian/transgender population—as well as how to do more effective outreach with proven smoking-cessation strategies. I omitted, however, to include an important and neglected population—youth and young adults.
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      References

        • Warner K.E.
        Tobacco policy research: insights and contributions to public health policy.
        in: Warner K.E. Tobacco control policy. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco2007: 3-86
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        Don't forget tobacco.
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        Strategies to reduce tobacco use: the role of state research.
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