November 16, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

DHHS's new ignores the 2012 Surgeon General's Report

The Department of Health and Human Services just launched, to provide be a "one-stop shop" for information on smoking and other products.  While it has a reasonable description of the health effects of smoking and secondhand smoke, it completely ignores two central conclusions of the 2012 Surgeon General's report, Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults on why kids start smoking:

  • Advertising and promotional activities by tobacco companies have been shown to cause the onset and continuation of smoking among adolescents and young adults.
  • The evidence is sufficient to conclude that there is a causal relationship between depictions of smoking in the movies and the initiation of smoking among young people.

All the site says on these important issues is the rather lame "Although you may see people using tobacco in movies, tv, and advertisements, most teens, adults, and athletes don’t use it."

Tobacco marketing and smoking in the movies are the two biggest reasons kids start to smoke.  So is menthol, another key fact that the web site ignores.

These are important issues that the public -- both youth and young adults -- need to understand and act on.  What is DHHS afraid of?

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