March 8th, 2012

Youth smoking is focus of new Surgeon General report

By William Hudson

Tobacco companies’ advertising and promotional campaigns may influence young adults and adolescents to start smoking, says a new report from the U.S. Surgeon General.

The report stops short of saying that tobacco companies have definitely changed their packaging in ways that increase their appeal among adolescents. “The evidence is suggestive,” but not conclusive, says the report.

Studies show that the once-steady decline in youth smoking has slowed in recent years.

“Each day in the United States, over 3,800 young people under 18 years of age smoke their first cigarette, and over 1,000 youth under age 18 become daily cigarette smokers,” says Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in the report’s opening comments.

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