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Our top issues

In our fight to end tobacco use, we focus on the issues that matter most. To identify these priorities, we constantly monitor, investigate and analyze the latest topics and trends in tobacco and substance use. These are our top issues.

e-cigarettes

Vaping

With 20% of high school students now vaping, many of whom were never smokers, new tobacco products are threatening to addict a new generation to nicotine. We are committed to research and actions that protect today's young people. E-cigarettes should be tools to help adult smokers quit combustible tobacco, not an on-ramp to addict a new generation of young people to nicotine.

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fda flavors candy

Flavors

Four out of five young adults who have ever used tobacco reported that their first product was flavored. Despite their proven appeal to youth, flavored tobacco products remain on the market. In addition to menthol cigarettes, flavored tobacco products include an array of smokeless tobacco, cigars, hookah and e-cigarettes that come in candy, fruit and cocktail flavors like sour apple, cherry, grape, chocolate, strawberry margarita, appletini, piña colada, cotton candy and cinnamon roll, to name just a few.

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​Opioids

Our country consumes more prescription opioids than any other nation in the world, and every day in 2017, an estimated 1,300 young adults misused an opioid prescription for the first time. Young Americans are especially vulnerable to misunderstanding the risks associated with opioid misuse and addiction, and the dangerous spiral down from prescription to illicit use. We believe we can make an impact on the opioid epidemic by focusing on education and prevention, given the credibility of the truth brand and our record of success with substance use prevention. Preventing opioid misuse among young people is an important part of the comprehensive effort required to address the epidemic.

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​Tobacco in pop culture

From video games to social influencers to top Netflix shows, tobacco imagery in entertainment continues to portray smoking positively, as a normal social behavior and as glamorous, rebellious and edgy. These images have influence, especially among youth and young adults, who are uniquely susceptible to social and environmental influences to use tobacco. Research shows that higher exposure to some of this imagery makes youth and young adults twice as likely to start smoking. 

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Tobacco-free communities

Tobacco-free communities contribute to creating a culture where all youth and young adults reject tobacco and provide important protection from secondhand smoke exposure. Yet more than 42 percent of the U.S. population remains unprotected, with only 28 states and territories that have enacted comprehensive smoke-free laws. In addition to supporting these comprehensive laws, we also help create tobacco-free communities by teaming with minority-serving academic institutions, community colleges and women’s colleges to become smoke- or tobacco-free with our Tobacco-free College Program, calling on pharmacies to stop selling tobacco and supporting Tobacco 21 policies that raise the legal age to purchase tobacco.

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​Help quitting

Tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the country and leads to 540,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. While most smokers say they want to quit, annual quit success rates remain low — at roughly 7 percent — underscoring the highly addictive nature of nicotine. The youth e-cigarette use epidemic has also created a major need for information on how to quit vaping. We remain committed to not just preventing tobacco use and nicotine addiction among young people, but also to rigorous research and innovation to help those who are addicted quit. That's why we have developed our proven-effective quit programs BecomeAnEX, The EX Program and This is Quitting. We’ve helped more than 800,000 people on their quit-smoking journey through BecomeAnEX and The EX Program and enrolled nearly 40,000 people to quit vaping in just the first three months of This is Quitting.

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​We are creating the first tobacco-free generation. This is how we're doing.

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Get the latest facts and analyses on the most important issues in tobacco and substance use.

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