The American Lung Association recently announced its support of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) strategic plan for new nationwide tobacco prevention efforts. The plan includes major tobacco control activities for which the American Lung Association has long advocated.

The strategic plan’s initiatives include expanding comprehensive cessation programs and services, increasing surveillance of tobacco use and progress of tobacco control efforts, encouraging states to implement comprehensive smoke-free laws, promote reductions in youth exposure to onscreen smoking, and supporting the Department of Defense in its efforts to combat tobacco use among military and veteran populations.

The HHS plan also includes actions to reduce tobacco-related disparities through interventions among high-risk populations.

According to the American Lung Association, one challenge to implementation of this tobacco control strategy will be the availability of funds. The American Lung Association and its partners already stopped one attempted raid on the Prevention of Public Health Fund, which was created through the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act earlier this year. The association remains committed to protecting this fund, which it considers critical to maintaining the investment in tobacco prevention and cessation programs.

The HHS plan comes on the heels of the US Food and Drug Administration’s new draft proposal requiring graphic cigarette labels and advertisement warnings. Over the next 2 months, the American Lung Association will be submitting comments to the FDA regarding proposed warning labels to ensure that they are strong and effective at preventing kids from starting to use cigarettes and encouraging current smokers to quit.

Source: American Lung Association