Home  |   Subscribe  |   Resources  |   Reprints  |   Writers' Guidelines

Research Review

Experts: Big Tobacco Dead by 2047, Possibly Sooner

President Barack Obama’s signature on a bill to grant the FDA regulatory authority over tobacco was historic, and represents a step in eliminating tobacco use in this country by 2047, two national tobacco experts said. The pair published “Stealing a March in the 21st Century: Accelerating Progress in the 100-Year War Against Tobacco Addiction in the United States” in the American Journal of Public Health. Michael Fiore, MD, MPH, MBA, and Timothy Baker, PhD, director and associate director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention, respectively, chart milestones in beating tobacco addiction and map a battle plan to eradicate tobacco use in the next few decades. The researchers analyzed data from the 1960s, when the first systemic tracking of smoking rates began, until the present.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show adults smoking between 1965 and 2007 dropped by an average of one half of one percentage point per year, from 42% to the current rate of about 20%. While this rate of decline hasn’t occurred each year, the overall decrease has been quite steady. The two researchers urge a nationwide effort designed to accelerate the rate of decline over the next 50 years.
“The progress made in reducing tobacco use over the last 50 years should in no way temper our commitment to further reductions. Nor should that progress be interpreted to mean tobacco use is less toxic or that tobacco companies are now on the ropes. But, if appropriate steps are taken, a tobacco-free nation can be achieved within a few decades,” Fiore says.

— Source: University of Wisconsin-Madison