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July 17, 1996

Addition of Prevalence of Cigarette Smoking as a Nationally Notifiable Condition—June 1996

JAMA. 1996;276(3):184. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540030018009

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ON JUNE 6, 1996, by a unanimous vote, the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) added prevalence of cigarette smoking to the list of conditions designated as reportable by states to CDC. The addition of prevalence of cigarette smoking marks the first time a behavior, rather than a disease or illness, has been considered nationally reportable.

Goals of smoking prevalence surveillance identified by CSTE include monitoring trends in tobacco use, guiding allocation of tobacco-use prevention resources, and evaluating public health interventions to reduce smoking. Given these goals, CSTE selected population sampling as the appropriate surveillance methodology and designated the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) as the preferred data source. CSTE and CDC are developing the format to regularly present this information in national disease reporting statistics. The addition of cigarette smoking prevalence brings to 56 the number of diseases and conditions designated by CSTE as reportable by