Satcher Announces New Tobacco Recommendations
States should place greater emphasis on prevention of tobacco use rather than treatment, U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher said on Friday, in announcing new recommendations to reduce the number of smokers, the Miami Herald reports. Speaking at a Miami meeting of the American College of Preventive Medicine, Satcher said, "The way to attack tobacco use in this country is a comprehensive approach targeting children and adults, smokers and nonsmokers." After reviewing "thousands of scientific studies" on antismoking campaigns, the Independent Task Force on Community Preventive Services recommended the use of "mass media campaigns and higher prices for cigarettes," as well as prohibiting smoking in public areas. Noting that the number of adolescents who smoke daily has risen from 780,000 in 1988 to 1.3 million today, Satcher said that policy makers should target antismoking efforts at children. He also said that he hopes that states will consider the new recommendations when they allocate their shares of the national tobacco settlement and "shift" their focus to preventive measures. "We have not yet as a nation showed enthusiasm for prevention research. We're always running, trying to catch up," he said (Morris, Miami Herald, 2/24).