WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 23, 2020 – The American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary organization focused on heart and brain health, issued the following statement in response to the release of “Smoking Cessation: A Report of the Surgeon General.” The report highlights the latest evidence on the health benefits of quitting smoking and proven treatments and strategies to help people successfully quit.
“This timely and important report highlights the importance of smoking cessation and provides real solutions to help reach the goal of ending tobacco use and nicotine addiction in our country. With 34 million American adults currently smoking, 70 percent of whom want to quit, the urgency around helping people quit continues.
“The data in this report provides valuable new insights not only about the impact of smoking on health, but the health improvements that can occur when an individual quits. In addition to reducing the risk for cardiovascular diseases and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, this report shares that quitting smoking can add as much as a decade to an individual’s life expectancy. Additionally, this report touts the need for individually focused treatments.
“We agree with the recommendation that individuals should work with their doctors to stop smoking and prioritize evidence-based FDA-approved cessation products and counseling. At the American Heart Association, we believe that anyone using tobacco products should have access to comprehensive cessation services with no copay.
“It is important to note that this report states there is inadequate evidence to conclude that e-cigarettes, in general, increase smoking cessation. We have long emphasized that more research is needed to understand the efficacy of e-cigarettes in promoting quitting relative to other FDA-approved cessation therapies. As emphasized by the Surgeon General, e-cigarettes should not be used by youth. With dual use of e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes remaining the dominant form of dual use, it is essential that we assess whether the use of newer tobacco products leads to completely quitting combustible tobacco or simply adding the use of tobacco products without reducing health risks.
“While great progress has been made over the last few decades, tobacco use remains the number one cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States. We are grateful to the Surgeon General for his commitment to ending tobacco use in our country and we look forward to working collaboratively to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to live tobacco-free.”
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
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