American Heart Association Forecasts Endgame for Tobacco and Nicotine Use: Policy Statement

photo of a no smoking warning sign outside of a buildingA policy statement published today by the American Heart Association in the scientific journal Circulationdescribes the actions that governments, the public health community and health care providers must take to achieve the “tobacco endgame” of ending all tobacco use and nicotine addiction in the U.S., a goal that first requires minimizing the use of all combustible tobacco products and ensuring that electronic cigarettes and other recent products do not addict the next generation of youth and adolescents.

The statement’s authors assert that this endgame goal is at risk with the tobacco industry’s increasingly aggressive targeting of youth and adolescents, which has driven the rapid rise of electronic cigarettes and other new and emerging tobacco products, posing an unprecedented threat to human life and the decades of public health efforts to reduce tobacco use.

The authors conclude that the threat can be overcome if:
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rigorously regulates the manufacturing, marketing and sales of all tobacco products
  • Federal, state and local governments implement proven tobacco-control policies
  • Health care providers and consumers are fully educated about the dangers of tobacco use and nicotine addiction.

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