APA Policy on Tobacco


Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death and illness in the United States, causing more than 440 000 deaths each year.1 It is a cycle of addiction and exposure that begins at conception and continues throughout life. Most (80%) users of tobacco start before age 18,2 prompted by exposure to parental and peer smoking, smoking in movies and other media, advertising directed to children and adolescents, and other factors.

The members of the Academic Pediatrics Association (APA) are uniquely positioned to intervene in the cycle of tobacco use in their capacity as members of the academic community, training medical students, residents, and fellows; in their clinical roles, caring for patients, particularly the underserved; as researchers, providing an evidence base for children's health, practice change, and public health; and as policy makers, guiding governments and other entities towards a tobacco-free world.
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