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News Release

August 15, 2012

Contact: HHS Press Office
(202) 205-0143

HHS releases new report on efforts to end the tobacco epidemic

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today released a progress report to the tobacco strategic action plan that highlights the accomplishments and strategies of the Obama administration to help tobacco users quit and prevent children from starting to use tobacco products.

“The tobacco strategic action plan has sparked an unprecedented set of tobacco control activities across HHS, and more broadly, across the federal government.  Today, we are releasing a progress report that outlines the specific actions taken to help Americans live healthier lives,” said Assistant Secretary for Health Howard Koh, MD, MPH. “We hope accomplishments outlined in the progress report encourage everyone to recommit to our common goal of a society free from tobacco-related death and disease.”

Tobacco use is the leading cause of premature and preventable death in the United States.  Every day in the U.S., more than 1,200 people die due to smoking and, for each of those deaths, at least two adolescents or young adults become regular smokers.

Over the last three years, HHS has accelerated efforts to reduce tobacco use, taking a coordinated approach employing many tools available to help tobacco users stop and keep others from starting. Ending the Tobacco Epidemic: Progress Toward a Healthier Nation outlines the progress HHS has made in implementing the specific actions in the Tobacco Control Strategic Action Plan and ultimately in achieving the Healthy People 2020 objective of reducing the adult smoking rate to 12 percent.

To read the progress report, go to


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Last revised: August 15, 2012