New U.S Surgeon General report alarmed by U.S tobacco usage
The U.S Surgeon General’s office released a report Thursday warning the public of tobacco risks and raised concerns over the amount of American teens smoking. According to the report, more work needs to be done to decrease tobacco usage in teens, including creating smoking bans and taxing more heavily on tobacco products.
The 920-page report is the first of its kinda since 1994.
The findings conclude that nearly one in four high school seniors smoke, making them more susceptible to nicotine addiction and damage to the heart and lungs due to their bodies still being in the development stage, USA Today reported.
The Washington Post announced that the report found more than 80% of smokers to start by the age of 18 while 99% of adult smokers began by age 26. One in three adults under the age of 26 smoke.
While the rate has declined from earlier decades, it has fallen at a much lower pace than expected despite numerous federal warnings about tobacco.
The reports has recommended more anti-smoking campaigns while getting the U.S Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco and increase restrictions in an attempt to prevent adolescents from using tobacco.
Tobacco industries have invested $10 billion in annual marketing, which is thought to have and encouragement factor on teens and young adults.
“I don’t want to focus on blame, I want to focus on prevention,” Surgeon General Regina Benjamin said. “I want to make sure we’re doing everything that we can to prevent kids from ever starting to smoke or use tobacco products.”
According to the new report, more than 3,000 Americans smoke their first cigarette under the age of 18 and more than 1,000 of them become daily smokers, The Washington Post stated. These smokers take the existing place of those 1,200 smokers who die everyday.