360° Coverage : Smoking Bans And Car-Seat Bribes: Five Lessons From The 50-Year...

2 Updates
Smoking Bans And Car-Seat Bribes: Five Lessons From The 50-Year Effort To Reduce Smoking And Save Lives

Smoking Bans And Car-Seat Bribes: Five Lessons From The 50-Year Effort To Reduce Smoking And Save Lives

Jan 10 2014, 10:41am CST | by

with Larry Cohen On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health, I wrote this blog with my colleague Larry Cohen, Prevention Institute’s executive...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

40 weeks ago

Smoking Bans And Car-Seat Bribes: Five Lessons From The 50-Year Effort To Reduce Smoking And Save Lives

Jan 10 2014, 10:41am CST | by

with Larry Cohen

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health, I wrote this blog with my colleague Larry Cohen, Prevention Institute’s executive director and a longtime leader in the fight against smoking.

Fifty years ago this week, Surgeon General Luther Terry released perhaps the most important public health document in U.S. history, the now-famous first Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health. It made explicit and public what virtually every scientist not on the payroll of the tobacco companies knew and acknowledged: that smoking cigarettes was deadly.

At the time, cigarettes cost about 35 cents a pack, 42 percent of American adults smoked and people lit up just about everywhere—on airplanes, in restaurants and bars, even in doctor’s waiting rooms. And more than 300,000 Americans were dying of lung cancer and other tobacco-related causes each year.

Flash forward 50 years and the landscape has changed dramatically. The percentage of adults who smoke has dropped by more than half, to 19 percent. The average cost of a pack of cigarettes is more than $5.60. And the rate of deaths has dropped dramatically.

New research just released in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that tobacco-control efforts since 1964 kept 8 million people from dying prematurely. The decline in smoking has added 2.3 years to the average lifespan of American men and 1.6 years to the lifespan of American women. If those number sound modest, consider this: Each of the 8 million people spared a premature death because they never smoked, or quit smoking early, gained, on average, almost 20 years of life.

The anniversary of the Surgeon General’s report is generating lots of media coverage tracking these changes, trends that are worth celebrating and understanding more deeply. But it’s also important to note that these changes didn’t happen solely as a result of the report itself, or the education efforts that came in its wake. It took policy changes, first small ones in a few places, then bigger ones in more places, to finally produce a groundswell.

In the early 1980s, I worked on the first multi-city no-smoking laws in the U.S., as director of prevention for the health department of Contra Costa, a politically moderate county east of San Francisco. We knew tobacco was a major cause of chronic disease and formed a local coalition that included the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and American Lung Association, highly credible organizations whose boards included influential doctors and donors. This was Lesson 1—the importance of building coalitions.

When we launched our efforts to ban smoking, many people said it would be impossible. Smoking was the norm, both acceptable and unrestricted. Many considered the tobacco industry too big to fight. Yet we were determined to influence smoking habits and believed that altering policy was the key.

Our initial goal was modest: to ban smoking in 40 percent of the seating in restaurants. By itself, of course, that wouldn’t end lung cancer, heart disease, or emphysema. Yet it had a huge impact because each modest victory changed the status quo and spurred efforts for more sweeping change. Soon, communities across the country were passing laws that banned smoking in 50 percent of each restaurant, then 80 percent, then 100 percent. Next, we were regulating smoking on airplanes, in public buildings, and eventually in bars and on beaches. This is Lesson 2—the importance of policy change. 

These local smoking-control ordinances were combined with state and federal efforts to increase tobacco taxes. The taxes not only made cigarettes more expensive, dampening demand, they helped fund advertising campaigns warning people of the dangers of cigarettes and supported smoking quitlines. Together, this multipronged effort to change policy, backed by a powerful communications and educational strategy, created a snowball of change that transformed norms and expectations around smoking. Lesson 3—create campaigns that are multifaceted.

At every step, we faced the determined and deep-pocketed resistance of Big Tobacco— just as advocates working today to pass taxes or marketing restrictions on soda and junk food face powerful, high-budget opposition from the food and beverage industries. Of course, one tactic always used by industry in opposing policy change is to coopt its leaders. In my case, that moment came at a lunch meeting I cautiously accepted with the state’s top tobacco lobbyist, who offered to supply our county with all the child-safety car seats we wanted if we dropped our tobacco policy work. Lesson 4—expect and beware of efforts to coopt.

As we consider and celebrate these victories, we must also remember how far we have to go. Today, while the rate of smoking has dropped, it remains the leading cause of preventable death, claiming the lives of 440,000 Americans each year. Eight million Americans live with at least one serious chronic disease from smoking, and people of color and with lower incomes remain at higher risk. The cost to the U.S economy is $193 billion a year, half of it in direct medical costs. Tobacco companies continue to market their deadly products, focusing on the most vulnerable by pitching menthol cigarettes to African Americans, using flavored e-cigarettes to hook young people, and unconscionably trying to hold back attempts at regulation in the countries of the developing world. And that leads to Lesson 5—keep up the fight (and we’ve only just begun).

Source: Forbes Business

 
Update
2

7 weeks ago

Khazanah throws MAS RM6b lifeline

Aug 29 2014 5:01pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 30, 2014 1:15 AMKHAZANAH Nasional will inject RM6 billion (SS$2.4 billion) over three years to resuscitate loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under a recovery plan that includes even an Act of Parliament. Other key moves are migrating its operations, assets and liabilities to a new company (NewCo) and slashing the ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 
Update
1

7 weeks ago

MAS posts loss of RM307m for Q2

Aug 28 2014 5:00pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 29, 2014 1:13 AMMALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) registered a loss of RM307 million (S$122 million) for the second quarter to end-June, but warned of worse to come in the second half when the "full financial impact of the double traged ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Ukraine lacks sufficient gas for winter
Kiev, Oct 23 (IANS) Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk has said his country lacks sufficient natural gas for winter.
 
 
Obama 'cautiously optimistic' about Ebola
Washington, Oct 23 (IANS) President Barack Obama Wednesday said he is "cautiously optimistic" about the Ebola situation in the US, as his government announced a new programme that will actively monitor for 21 days every person coming from West African nations hit by the deadly virus.
 
 
Khamenei wants less reliance on oil
Tehran, Oct 23 (IANS) Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on the country's officials Wednesday to formulate plans to cut Iran's dependence on oil revenues and manage the economy on the basis of the domestic capabilities.
 
 
Nigerian parliament approves $1 bn loan to fight Boko Haram
Lagos, Oct 23 (IANS) The Nigerian House of Representatives Wednesday approved President Goodluck Jonathan's request to borrow not more than one billion dollars to tackle the security challenges facing the country.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

European Champions League standings
Paris, Oct 22 (IANS) Following are the European Champions League standings for Groups E to H after Tuesday's matches (tabulated under matches played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, against, points), according to Xinhua...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Rogerio set to break Giggs world record
Rio de Janeiro, Oct 22 (IANS) Sao Paulo goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni is one victory away from earning his fourth Guinness World Record by eclipsing a mark held by Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs. The 41-year-old will...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Ryan Reynolds can't keep his hands off Blake Lively
Ryan Reynolds was ''really sweet'' to Blake Lively at the Angel City Ball. The couple, who got married in September 2012, made their first red carpet appearance together in New York City on Monday night (10.20.14) since...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kris Jenner doesn't know who Bruce Jenner is dating
Kris Jenner has ''no idea'' whether Bruce Jenner is dating her best friend. The 58-year-old reality TV star, who split from the Olympic gold medallist last October after 23 years of marriage, claims she doesn't know if...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
When Rihanna dressed like 'Harry Potter'
New York, Oct 22 (IANS) Singer Rihanna was spotted here in a Harry Potter style costume. She wore the wizard-like get-up while heading for a business meal here Monday, reports mirror.co.uk. The 26-year-old combined a...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Germany raises humanitarian aid to Iraq
Berlin, Oct 22 (IANS) Germany has pledged a further 20 million euros (about 25.5 million dollars) in humanitarian aid to Iraq, the foreign ministry said in a statement Tuesday. The additional funds are immediately...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
India calls on Israel, Palestine to resume peace process
United Nations, Oct 22 (IANS) India has called upon Israelis and Palestinians to resume the peace process as "dialogue remains the only viable option" to address the issues confronting the region. In a brief statement...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Airstrikes help ground forces fight IS: Pentagon
Washington, Oct 22 (IANS) Kurdish forces are in control of the majority of the Syrian city of Kobane despite efforts by the Islamic State (IS) to take the town, a spokesperson for US defence department said Tuesday....
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Palestine, Israel urged at UN to halt unilateral initiatives
United Nations, Oct 22 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon Tuesday called on Palestine and Israel to overcome differences and halt unilateral initiatives that fuel mistrust, so as to pursue long-term stability in...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
China urges Israel to create conditions for peace
United Nations, Oct 22 (IANS) Chinese government has called on Israel to create necessary conditions for the resumption of peace talks with Palestine. At an open debate of the Security Council on the situation of the...
Read more on Politics Balla