The report was compiled by a group of prominent health leaders, and calls on the government to take immediate action to reduce the number of smokers in the country by 15 million, from 40 million to 25 million by 2024. Contrary to what several anti-vaping entities, such as the Surgeon General, have been claiming, the report, found that quitting rates amongst young people have improved, however the same cannot be said for adult smokers.
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“It is much cheaper to pay for cessation measures than to pay for the treatment of diseases caused by smoking,” said Michael Cummings, co-leader of the Tobacco Research Program and professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina.
Strategies should include reduced-risk products
The report is suggesting the adoption of three strategies that could help curb smoking among adults, hence revolutionize public health ;
Action 1 : Increase excise taxes at the federal level and in many states with four (4) goals: lower smoking rates, harmonize taxes across state borders to reduce illicit trade, cover the costs of smoking-related disease, and encourage a shift from cigarettes to reduced-risk products and complete cessation.
Action 2 : Encourage health and life insurers, employers, and health professionals to actively promote smoking cessation measures supported by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and the 2014 U.S. Surgeon General’s Report.
Action 3 : Establish a more rational tobacco, nicotine, and alternative products regulatory framework based on their relative risks, and that is adaptable to the increased speed of innovation in new technology development.
What is the role of vaping products?
The report is highlighting the vital role that vaping products could play if their potentially for smoking cessation had to be recognised as it was in places such as the UK. In the first strategy the report is suggesting increasing taxes on tobacco cigarettes so that smokers are encouraged to turn to the electronic counterparts, rather than regulating the latter as the former as the FDA is currently doing. In the third strategy, the report is once more encouraging the inclusion of the devices as alternative products, and insisting on subjecting them to a tax that is relative to their risks.