Keynote report-out from SRNT: “Do the benefits outweigh the risks?”

Jenna Jordan, MPH
Graduate Research Assistant
Out, Proud and Healthy Project
Family & Community Medicine | University of Missouri
Dr. Healton
Dr. Cheryl Healton, President of Legacy

Today’s keynote was delivered by Dr. Cheryl Healton, President of Legacy – an organization dedicated to building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. Dr. Healton discussed the tobacco control endgame. With all of the progress that we’ve made in the past few decades educating the public about the harmful effects of smoking and tobacco use, what else should we be doing to bring down the smoking rate? Her vision included a federal cigarette tax increase, a nationwide smoke-free law, a ban on menthol cigarettes, and effective web-based cessation programs. With all of the confusion surrounding new modified risk tobacco products such as snus and e-cigarettes, Dr. Healton recommend we measure them using simple the Public Health Standard by asking ourselves, “Overall, do the benefits outweigh the risks?” She concluded with the sobering statistic that tobacco will kill 1 billion people by the year 2100 unless we take these bold new directions in tobacco control.

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