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February 10, 1993

Advocates Say Smoke-Free Society Eventually May Result From More Curbs, Taxes on Tobacco Use

JAMA. 1993;269(6):724. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500060016005

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MOST CHAMPIONS of a smoke-free society agree that among their top priorities this year are the following:

  • To discourage youngsters from starting to smoke.

  • To increase excise taxes on cigarettes by $2 a pack, with similar increases for other tobacco products.

  • To extend existing ordinances requiring smoke-free public places.

  • To curb advertising and promotion of tobacco products.

But implementing these goals is likely to be uphill work, warns Michael Pertschuk, codirector, Advocacy Institute, Washington, DC, a group that helps to plan and coordinate tobacco-control advocacy. The antismoking movement, he says, is not well placed to combat the powerful tobacco industry lobby.

More Focus Needed?  "The limited financial resources committed by both government and nongovernment funders are, too often, misdirected," Pertschuk says. "We still lack the structures and capacity for overall priority setting, strategic planning, tactical coordination, and effective communications."In his opinion, Pertschuk says, aside from objectives laid out by