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Teenage smoking is an “epidemic,” says US surgeon general

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e2004 (Published 13 March 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e2004
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. 1New York

Efforts to reduce smoking and other tobacco use by teenagers have stalled, and prevention should concentrate on teenagers because 99% of US smokers began smoking before they were 26, most in their teens, says a new report by the US surgeon general.

Regina Benjamin’s report is the first by a surgeon general since 1994 to report on young people’s tobacco use.

Over one million people begin to use tobacco products every year. Proved methods can prevent this epidemic claiming another generation, the report says, but they must be implemented in every state and community.

Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of health and human services, said in the report that every …

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