FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 10, 2010
Media Contact: Laura Diamond
PARTNERSHIP STATEMENT ON YESTERDAY’S RELEASE OF THE REPORT BY THE US SURGEON GENERAL
Washington, DC – Partnership for Prevention (Partnership) commends the U.S. Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin for her release of the 30th tobacco-related and scientific report issued since 1964, “How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: the Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking Attributable Disease."
The 700-plus page report, produced by 64 health experts, brings irrefutable science to the public in clear, evidence-based factual terms: regardless of the product, there is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke, secondhand smoke from a single cigarette can trigger a heart attack, and tobacco products are engineered by the tobacco industry to be increasingly addictive over time.
Science should drive policy. This report provides final, conclusive evidence that it is time to end the debate over smokefree air. It is time to prohibit smoking in all indoor spaces including workplaces such as restaurants, bars, and casinos. Any lesser action unnecessarily endangers the health of millions of non-smokers. And for smokers, the report provides ample incentive to quit and take advantage of the wide variety of effective cessation therapies available over the counter or by prescription.
Tobacco use is a chronic disease and it is time for Federal and state government to make tobacco cessation care available to all…it’s a matter of lives and it’s a matter of money.
In fact, in a recently released study, http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.1000375, researchers from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Harvard Medical School demonstrated that expanded delivery of tobacco cessation services can save lives, improved the health among the Massachusetts’ Medicaid population and reduced the incidence of tobacco-related health care costs. The study showed “Among Massachusetts Medicaid subscribers, use of a comprehensive tobacco cessation pharmacotherapy benefit was associated with a significant decrease in claims for hospitalizations for acute myocardial infarction and acute coronary heart disease…” The article concluded that “For low-income smokers, removing the barriers to the use of smoking cessation pharmacotherapy has the potential to decrease short-term utilization of hospital services.”
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Partnership for Prevention is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization of business, non-profit and government leaders dedicated to making evidence-based disease prevention and health promotion a national priority.