2012 U.S. Surgeon General's Report

Sharon Eubanks, Dr. Regina Benjamin, and Cynthia Hallett

On March 8, 2012, the U.S. Surgeon General released the 31st report on tobacco use, Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults. The 22-page Executive Summary summarizes the enormous amount of scientific evidence reported in the more than 900-page Surgeon General's report.

This document provides the five major conclusions as well as each of the chapter conclusions from the full report, which are:

  1. Cigarette smoking by youth and young adults has immediate adverse health consequences, including addiction, and accelerates the development of chronic diseases across the full life course.

  2. Prevention efforts must focus on both adolescents and young adults because among adults who become daily smokers, nearly all first use of cigarettes occurs by 18 years of age (88%), with 99% of first use by 26 years of age.

  3. Advertising and promotional activities by tobacco companies have been shown to cause the onset and continuation of smoking among adolescents and young adults.

  4. After years of steady progress, declines in the use of tobacco by youth and young adults have slowed for cigarette smoking and stalled for smokeless tobacco use.

  5. Coordinated, multicomponent interventions that combine mass media campaigns, price increases including those that result from tax increases, school-based policies and programs, and statewide or community-wide changes in smokefree policies and norms are effective in reducing the initiation, prevalence, and intensity of smoking among youth and young adults. (emphasis added)

There is also a 20-page Consumer Booklet designed to help parents, teachers, policy makers, health care professionals, and other concerned adults understand the importance of the report and how they can take a stand to protect young people from the devastating effects of tobacco use.

Lastly, have your voice heard! Participate in the Surgeon General's "Tobacco. I'm not buying it!" video contest. The CDC invites youth aged (13-17) and young adults ages (18-25) to develop original videos that feature one or more of these report findings:

To download the full report, visit http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/preventing-youth-tobacco-use/full-report.pdf