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US health secretary launches campaign to reduce smoking prevalence

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c7162 (Published 10 December 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c7162
  1. Bob Roehr
  1. 1Washington, DC

Tobacco smoke, be it from smoking cigarettes or exposure to secondhand smoke, causes immediate damage to the body, concludes a new report issued by the US surgeon general on 9 December in Washington, DC.

“The message from this report for Americans is simple: there is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke,” said the secretary of health and human services, Kathleen Sebelius. “We are relaunching the effort to reduce and ideally eliminate smoking in America.”

About 40% of Americans smoked in 1964 when the US surgeon general issued the first report urging them to stop. That number has dropped to about 20% today. “The bad news is that in recent years the decline in adult and youth smoking …

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