Knowledge Bank

Tobacco Prevention

Preventing Tobacco-Related Cancers

Smoking and tobacco use are responsible for most lung cancer deaths and one-third of all cancer deaths. Smoking also contributes to heart disease, stroke, and lung disease. The single most important prevention initiative would be to reduce tobacco use through youth prevention and adult cessation.

Goals to Reduce Smoking

  • Reduce smoking in youth
  • Reduce the proportion of nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke
  • Increase counseling and smoking-cessation attempts among current smokers

For each of these goals, there are clear evidence-based strategies that can be implemented at the policy (e.g. raising taxes and raising purchase age to 21), education (e.g. provide K-12 curriculum and gamification methods to prevent kids from starting) and cessation services (e.g. provide telemedicine cessation intervention for active smokers.)

  • Tobacco causes 30% of all cancer deaths
  • Tobacco will claim 1 billion lives over the next 100 years
  • 88% of adult smokers start before the age of 18 and 95% before age 21
  • Multi-pronged policy and cessation services can make a difference: Tobacco 21 (estimated 10% reduction); Tobacco Treatment Programs (self-quit: 6% success, TTP: 45% success)


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