This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Surgeon Generals Report on Smoking and Health. The progress report highlights the improvement we have made since 1964 as well as the need for continued cessation efforts. More than 20 million Americans have died from smoking related causes since the first report in 1964 and tobacco continues to be the greatest risk factor for the burden of disease globally. However, the national prevalence of smoking has decreased from 42.4% in 1965 to 19% in 2011, with some areas such as New York City with even lower rates (14% in 2010).
Innovations are exploding in alternative nicotine products, such as e-cigarettes. Studies are underway to see if e-cigarettes can effectively support smoking cessation.
This year for World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is launching #WorldNoTobaccoDay Thunderclap, an online campaign that supports sharing a single message through multiple social media networks. Check out and support the campaign here.
The Vitality Institute is focused on bringing the best science to tobacco cessation. This means working with leading researchers and innovative organizations to promote effective cessation aids and determine new support tools. We are proud to be collaborating with the University of Pennsylvania to determine the most effective smoking cessation program for the workplace, offering financial incentives and cessation aids including e-cigs. Research is underway and we aim to report results in peer-reviewed journals in 2015. We have also partnered with the National Cancer Institute to promote the SmokeFreeTXT platform in the US.