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AAFP Statement: Family Physicians to Governors: Help Us Discourage Smoking
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 25, 2002
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237, Ext. 5224
The American Academy of Family Physicians is pleased to join in the call by the Smokeless States National Tobacco Policy Initiative to governors to raise excise taxes on tobacco products. The Academy believes that this may provide a major disincentive to many potential buyers if enacted at an appropriate level. We encourage state and national legislators to develop health education programs to be funded by a dedicated tax on cigarettes.
Numerous studies show that increasing taxes on cigarettes leads to reduced smoking. Approximately, for every 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes, adult smoking is reduced by three to five percent and teen smoking is reduced by seven percent.
The 2000 U.S. Surgeon General’s Report, Reducing Tobacco Use, found that increasing tobacco taxes creates “substantial long-term improvements in health.” It also stated that “raising tobacco taxes is one of the most effective tobacco prevention and control strategies.”
And we need to remember that the increased taxes will place no burden on the 75 percent of Americans who do not smoke.
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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 110,600 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.
Approximately one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That is 240 million office visits each year — nearly 87 million more than the next largest medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.
To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.FamilyDoctor.org.
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