Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. The tobacco industry has modeled its business around recruiting youth users–nearly 90 percent of daily adult smokers begin by the age of 18, with 99 percent beginning by the age of 26. Moreover, today’s adult smokers are disproportionately those of lower educational attainment living at or below the poverty line. As the Surgeon General stated in 2012, “[T]here are proven methods to prevent this epidemic from claiming yet another generation, if our nation has the will to implement those methods in every state and community.”
Evidence demonstrates that public policy interventions promote public health, and that effective implementation of tobacco controls can prevent tobacco use, aid cessation, and narrow health disparities between groups. The Public Health and Tobacco Policy Center supports communities pursuing evidence-based policies to reduce tobacco use and improve public health.
For more information on this work, please see our Tobacco Control subcategories: