The American Medical Association (AMA) voted to advance its anti-tobacco efforts and to increase nationwide organ donation rates, calling for the development of public education programs to improve these public health issues.

AMA’s anti-tobacco policy seeks to combat the “organized conspiracy” put forth by several tobacco companies to deceive consumers about the adverse health effects of smoking tobacco. AMA noted that in 2006, some of these companies, including Phillip Morris and RJ Reynolds, were found to have violated the US Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act to boost their revenues without considering individual illness or growing health costs.

“For years tobacco companies have continued to put their profits above the health and well-being of their customers through deceptive practices that include targeting young people and preventing current smokers from quitting,” Albert J. Osbahr III, MD, board member of the AMA, said in a press release. “We will do everything we can to ensure the public is aware of the negative health consequences associated with tobacco products and help deter more people from using them.”