WASHINGTON (AP) — Unless there’s more aggressive action against tobacco, the U.S. Surgeon General says, one in 13 children could see their lives shortened by smoking.
Acting Surgeon General Borish Lushniak spoke at a White House ceremony, marking the release of a 980-page report that calls for a new commitment to make the next generation a smoke-free generation.
It’s been 50 years since the landmark 1964 surgeon general’s report that launched the anti-smoking movement. Today, far fewer Americans are smoking — about 18 percent of adults. That’s down from more than 42 percent in 1964. But the report warns that the government may not meet its goal of lowering that rate to 12 percent by 2020.
The report says nearly a half million people will die from smoking-related diseases this year. It says if current trends continue, 5.6 million of today’s children and teens will go on to die prematurely during adulthood because of smoking.