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US Surgeon General's report reaffirms the health benefits of smoking cessation
2020.02.10
The Surgeon General of the United States (US) has recently published the latest Report on Smoking and Tobacco Use, summarizing the scientific evidence on the benefits of quitting smoking.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of diseases and premature deaths. Nicotine, inherent in tobacco, is highly addictive and makes quitting difficult. However, it is never too late to quit. The report concludes that quitting is beneficial at any age, improving health status and enhancing quality of life. By getting rid of smoking, smokers have their risks of many adverse health effects reduced, including cancers, cardiovascular diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and reproductive health outcomes, and have the life expectancy extended for up to 10 years. For smokers already diagnosed with coronary heart disease or COPD, quitting is still beneficial.

The report also concludes that smoking cessation medications approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (nicotine replacement therapy, bupropion and varenicline) and behavioral counseling (individual, group and phone counseling) are effective in helping quitting, particularly when used in combination. However, it stresses that there is insufficient scientific evidence so far to conclude that e-cigarettes can help smokers to quit. As e-cigarettes are available in various types, positive efficacy of a particular type of e-cigarettes on quitting demonstrated in some clinical trials cannot be generalized to all e-cigarettes.

The Surgeon General suggests encouraging quitting through cigarette price increase, comprehensive smoke-free policies, media mass campaigns, mandatory pictorial health warnings and tobacco control programmes. COSH urges the Hong Kong Government to continue to strengthen various tobacco control measures, such as substantial tobacco tax increase and implementation of plain tobacco product packaging, to reduce smoking and achieve tobacco endgame in Hong Kong.

Source: The 2020 Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Tobacco Use
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