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September 16, 1988

Don't Be Discouraged if Trying to Quit Tobacco, Surgeon General Urges

JAMA. 1988;260(11):1511. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410110013002

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SURGEON GENERAL C. Everett Koop, MD, of the Public Health Service plans to issue another report on tobacco and health four months from now on the 25th anniversary of that office's historic first report (JAMA 1964;188:29-30). But in the meantime Koop says the nation needs to combat tobacco addiction (the subject of his latest tobacco report) just as it is fighting drug abuse, and to encourage those seeking to stop using tobacco.

Echoing the theme of the 20th Surgeon General's report on the health consequences of tobacco use (JAMA 1988;259:2811), Koop has told the Subcommittee on Health and the Environment, US House of Representatives: "We should give tobacco use and tobacco addiction the serious attention it deserves. Our nation has mobilized enormous resources to wage a war on drugs, illicit drugs. We should also give priority to the one addiction—tobacco addiction—that is killing more than 300 000 Americans each year."