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January 2006

Do As I Say, Not As I Do: Does It Work for Tobacco Use Prevention?

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006;160(1):102-103. doi:10.1001/archpedi.160.1.102

Ten years ago Food and Drug Administration commissioner David Kessler, MD, declared tobacco use a “pediatric disease.”1 Decades of research, policy, and practice in smoking prevention make it clear that there are no magic bullets to curb this epidemic. Four and one half million children under the age of 18 currently smoke. Each day over 4000 youth try smoking for the first time and more than one third of them will become regular, daily smokers before leaving high school. Unless these trends are reversed, nearly 6.5 million children younger than age 18 who are alive today will eventually die from smoking-related disease.2 Bold policy solutions that involve tighter governmental regulation of tobacco products have not been forthcoming.