Main navigation english

Canadian Public Health Association

The US takes a major step forward in tobacco control

CPHA congratulates the US government on the November 10, 2010 release of its visionary new federal tobacco control strategy. Ending the Tobacco Epidemic: a Tobacco Control Strategy Action Plan for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides a blueprint for leadership and action on the part of the federal government, in collaboration with state and municipal/local governments, communities and the not-for-profit and research sectors, to attain a US society free of tobacco-related morbidity and mortality. The action plan establishes a national adult smoking prevalence rate target of 12% by the year 2020 (compared to 20% presently).

Ending the Tobacco Epidemic

The Action Plan, which sets out to achieve the goals of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, was developed around four objectives:

  1. to reduce tobacco use by adults and children;
  2. to reduce the initiation of tobacco use among children, adolescents and young adults;
  3. to increase successful smoking cessation attempts by smokers; and
  4. to reduce the proportion of non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke.

The action plan takes a population health approach to attaining the objectives, while at the same time acknowledging the need to focus attention on targeted interventions in locations serving high-risk populations (e.g., those of low socio-economic status, the homeless, people dealing with substance use and/or mental health issues, American Indians/Alaskan Natives, pregnant women and children, prison inmates). It also includes a mass media campaign designed to discourage youth initiation and inform the public about the health consequences of tobacco. The program will expand Medicare and Medicaid health insurance coverage to include comprehensive, evidence-based cessation treatment.

The Action Plan also includes a commitment by the Department of Health and Social Services to collaborate across the federal government, with state and local leaders, with communities and with the non-governmental sector as well as with partners in the international community.

CPHA is recognized in the Action Plan for its role over the past 10 years in collaboration with the US CDC and the World Health Organization in implementing the Global Tobacco Surveillance System to assist countries in establishing tobacco control surveillance and monitoring programs.

CPHA encourages the federal government of Canada to take note of this bold new US strategy for tobacco control to inform the renewal of our country's Federal Tobacco Control Strategy.