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News Releases

American Dental Association Welcomes Latest Surgeon General’s Report on Tobacco Use

March 08, 2012

Contact Information:
Telephone: 312.440.2806
Email: (Journalists) or Contact ADA (All Others)

Washington, D.C., March 8, 2012—The Surgeon General’s report "Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults," released yesterday, indicates that America still has a long way to go before we eradicate this problem.

According to the conclusions found in the report, among adults who became daily smokers, nearly all (88 percent) first used cigarettes by the age of 18, and advertising by tobacco companies exploit this fact by targeting adolescents and young adults. The report further concludes that the decline in cigarette smoking among young people is slowing, and has stopped for smokeless tobacco use.

The American Dental Association is pleased that the Surgeon General’s office released this report because it will serve as another helpful weapon in the fight against youth tobacco use.

The ADA has long opposed the tobacco industry’s attempts to capture the youth market. Dentists are very familiar with the effects that tobacco—particularly smokeless, or spit tobacco—has on users, which is why the ADA worked hard for a 2009 law granting the Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate tobacco products. And it’s why the association is working to defeat legislation that would weaken that authority. It is also why the FDA last year invited the ADA to join a roundtable discussion with the agency and other public health organizations to discuss the regulation of tobacco products.

The ADA is concerned about recent attempts to market smokeless tobacco products as somehow safer or less harmful than cigarettes. We are working in conjunction with the FDA to develop the scientific framework for evaluating those "modified risk" claims.

The recent Surgeon General’s report reinforces the need for stronger regulation of tobacco products and the ADA stands ready to help government agencies and health organizations in making that a reality.

About the ADA

The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing 162,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA's state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The monthly The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the ADA's flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA's consumer website