Excise Tax Boosts, Restrictions On Tobacco Marketing To Reduce Smoking In U.S.

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A combination of increased excise taxes, nationwide indoor smoking bans, and other measures would significantly lower the U.S. smoking rate, which now hovers at around 21 percent of the adult population.

But to achieve faster, more certain reductions, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should be given broad regulatory authority over tobacco marketing, packaging, and distribution, and other revisions to current tobacco policy should be enacted, said the committee that wrote the report.

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Although smoking in the United States has declined by more than 50 percent since 1964, tobacco use still claims about 440,000 lives every year, and secondhand smoke causes another 50,000 deaths annually. Smoking-related health costs are estimated to be $89 billion a year.

The report proposes a two-pronged approach to further reduce tobacco use in the United States. The first element focuses on strengthening existing tobacco control measures to preserve and enhance the gains already made. The committee's recommendations include:

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