Tobacco Survey Will Serve as Warning System on Tobacco Industry Marketing
Statement from Cheryl G. Healton, DrPH, President and CEO, Legacy
WASHINGTON, Oct. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced a collaboration to conduct a large-scale, national study of tobacco use in the United States. The objective of the study is to monitor and assess the behavioral and health impacts of the new government tobacco regulations since the FDA gained regulatory authority over tobacco in 2009. LegacyÃ‚® and our Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies are proud to be a part of this effort as a contractor to conduct this landmark national survey, which gives scientists and policy makers the essential resources and tools they need to address the tobacco epidemic and to evaluate whether our efforts are making a difference in saving lives.
Tobacco, responsible for 443,000 deaths every year, remains the most urgent public health emergency in our nation. A cornerstone of effective public health policy is research. This long-awaited effort provides researchers and federal agencies with the tools needed to guide and inform the FDA to reduce the harm and death from tobacco product use.
This is the first time in history that an adequately funded ongoing survey of tobacco use behavior of this magnitude is being supported to provide the information the FDA needs to protect public health from tobacco caused harms, death and disease burden. More than 10-years in the making, it fills a crucial gap and missing link in the fight to reduce the toll tobacco takes on our children, adult users and the nation by serving as an “all point bulletin” or “canary in the coal mine.” It also serves to alert the FDA, the public and the nation about how tobacco products are cleverly marketed to our youth, adults, families and loved ones and how the industry continues to find creative ways to sell the one product that kills up to half its lifetime users when used as intended.
Legacy applauds the agencies for this collaborative effort as a major step in tobacco control and public health. It will have a significant impact on our ability to monitor how best to prevent and reduce tobacco consumption, and ultimately save lives.
LegacyÃ‚® is dedicated to building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. Located in Washington, D.C., the national public health organization helps Americans live longer, healthier lives. Legacy develops programs that address the health effects of tobacco use, especially among vulnerable populations disproportionately affected by the toll of tobacco, through grants, technical assistance and training, partnerships, youth activism, and counter-marketing and grassroots marketing campaigns. The foundation’s programs include truthÃ‚®, a national youth smoking prevention campaign that has been cited as having contributed to significant declines in youth smoking; EXÃ‚®, an innovative public health program designed to speak to smokers in their own language and change the way they approach quitting; and research initiatives exploring the causes, consequences and approaches to reducing tobacco use. Legacy was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. Visit http://www.legacyforhealth.org/.