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NAQC Newsroom: Tobacco Control

CDC Releases New Tobacco Vital Signs Program

Tuesday, September 07, 2010  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov

The Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) would like to tell you about an important new program at CDC called CDC Vital Signs. This program is a call to action concerning a single, important public health topic each month. The program comprises several resources and activities, including:

· reports published in an early release of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) the first Tuesday of every month;
· a Web site that includes a fact sheet on each topic and that breaks down the scientific information in the MMWRs in clear, accessible language;
· telebriefings and accompanying media releases; and
· social media efforts, such as announcements on Facebook and Twitter, podcasts, widgets, and content syndication.

Vital Signs topics include colorectal and breast cancer screening, obesity, tobacco use, alcohol use, access to health care, HIV testing, seat belt use, cardiovascular disease, teen pregnancy and infant mortality, health care-associated infections, asthma, and foodborne disease.

The tobacco-related issue of Vital Signs was released today (September 7, 2010). It is based on the latest data sources, including the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Some of the key messages in the tobacco issue of Vital Signs include the following:

· Despite the dangers of even brief exposure to secondhand smoke, 88 million nonsmokers (approximately 37% of adults and 54% of young children) are exposed to secondhand smoke in the United States.
· Even though tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death, disease, and disability in the United States, 46.6 million adults (or about 1 in 5) smoke cigarettes.
· The decline in smoking has stalled in recent years (i.e., in 2005, approximately 20.9% of adults smoked cigarettes; in 2009, approximately 20.6% smoked).
· The burden of cigarette smoking continues to be high, especially among certain groups, such as men, multiracial adults, American Indian/Alaska Natives, persons living below the poverty level, persons with lower educational levels, and persons living in the Midwest and Southeast.

These are winnable battles in public health and can be greatly impacted by the recommended activities detailed in simple terms in the Vital Signs fact sheet.

Please visit OSH’s Vital Signs Web page to learn more and to access the related resources (e.g., MMWR articles, fact sheet, podcast, feature article). Please also share Vital Signs information with your colleagues and partners.
Thank you for your continued efforts in tobacco prevention and control.

Source: e-mail communication from William Coppage with CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health.

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