New IOM report on smoking cessation

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted June 18, 2007

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A new Institute of Medicine report set out a blueprint to reduce smoking so substantially that it is no longer a significant public health threat.

The report, "Ending the Tobacco Problem," was released May 24 and calls for expanding measures that have worked in the past, including significantly increasing federal excise taxes on cigarettes and requiring all public and private health insurers to cover smoking cessation programs.

To address the addictive nature of tobacco, the panel of physicians and researchers who drafted the report also recommended that the Food and Drug Administration be given regulatory powers over tobacco products. They ask that the FDA be granted the authority to enforce standards for nicotine reduction and to regulate companies' advertising claims. Among other things, the report also recommends imposing smoking bans in all nonresidential indoor settings nationwide and launching additional efforts aimed at curbing youth interest in smoking and access to tobacco.

The AMA welcomed the report's message, noting that it has long urged many of the changes recommended. "The American Medical Association applauds [the] Institute of Medicine report that calls on state and federal governments to implement more aggressive policies to reduce tobacco use in the U.S.," said AMA President-elect Ron Davis, MD.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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