Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causing many diseases and affecting the health of smokers in general. Quitting smoking has both immediate and long-term benefits for Americans and their loved ones. Despite progress in reducing tobacco use, more than 20 percent of Americans still smoke, and smoking rates that have been falling for decades have now plateaued. The good news is that HHS knows what it will take to get those numbers dropping again—comprehensive, sustained, and accountable tobacco control efforts based on evidence-based interventions.
HHS has incorporated the following set of actions into its Tobacco Strategic Action Plan and will implement these activities to prevent and reduce tobacco use.
Strengthen the Implementation of Evidence-based Tobacco Control Interventions and Policies in States and Communities
HHS will continue to support efforts to build state and local capacity to implement proven policy interventions. HHS efforts will include supporting comprehensive quit line services; focusing greater attention on populations with a disproportionate burden of use and dependence; and increasing local, state, and tribal enforcement of tobacco regulation.
Change Social Norms Around Tobacco Use
HHS will develop a comprehensive communication agenda to promote a culture change around tobacco use, including national campaigns to prevent and reduce youth tobacco use, and will increase knowledge about the evidence base for, and availability of, treatment options. HHS will unify communication and education campaigns employed across agencies.
Accelerate Research to Expand the Science Base and Monitor Progress
HHS will develop and implement new research and surveillance activities to address gaps in knowledge about what works in tobacco prevention and control, including in regulatory science, evolving product changes, industry practices, and public perception. We will also develop new prevention and treatment interventions for high-risk populations, and remove barriers to accessing these interventions.
Leverage HHS Systems and Resources to Create a Society Free of Tobacco-related Disease and Death
HHS will ensure that its health care providers offer cessation advice and referrals; enhance health care professionals’ knowledge and adoption of effective treatments; and provide more powerful incentives to health care providers and others to promote cessation treatment.