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Faculty & Staff Honors

Colorado: Dean Serves as Contributing Editor for Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking Cessation

On January 23, the U.S. Surgeon General released the first scientific report of his tenure and the first of the current presidential administration. The report was a follow-up to the 1990 report on smoking cessation. Colorado School of Public Health Dean Jonathan Samet served as a contributing editor for the most recent report after serving as the senior scientific editor for the original 1990 report.

The major conclusions of the 2020 report emphasize that smoking cessation is beneficial regardless of the age of the smoker. Smoke cessation reduces the risk of premature death and can add as much as a decade to life expectancy, as well as reducing the substantial financial burden that smoking places on smokers. The report also found that 3 out of 5 U.S. adults who have ever smoked cigarettes have quit, but less than one-third use U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medications or behavioral counseling to do so, despite these methods increasing the likelihood of success. In terms of public health strategies, comprehensive insurance coverage for smoking cessation services increases the use of these services; increased cigarette prices, comprehensive smoke-free policies, mass media campaigns, and pictorial health warnings can also increase rates of smoking cessation. Finally, the report found that it is difficult to determine the efficacy of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation tool due to variations in use and constantly changing products and concludes that there is currently inadequate evidence to determine whether e-cigarettes in general increase smoking cessation.

To read the press release and a copy of the report, visit the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) website.

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