NIH State-of-the-Science Conference on Tobacco Use: Prevention, Cessation, and Control

Thumbnail Image





National Institutes of Health (2006) NIH State-of-the-Science Conference on Tobacco Use: Prevention, Cessation, and Control. In: NIH State-of-the-Science Conference.


Objective To provide health care providers, patients, and the general public with a responsible assessment of currently available data on tobacco use: prevention, cessation and control. Participants A non-DHHS, non-advocate 14-member panel included experts in the fields of medicine, general and pediatric psychiatry, addiction medicine, nursing, social work, population science, cancer prevention, minority health and health disparities, clinical study methodology, clinical epidemiology, and a public representative. A listing of the panel members and their institutional affiliations is included in the draft conference statement. In addition, 15 experts from pertinent fields presented data to the panel and conference audience. Evidence Presentations by experts and a systematic review of the literature prepared by the RTI International-University of North Carolina Evidence-based Practice Center, through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Scientific evidence was given precedence over anecdotal experience. Conference Process The panel drafted its statement based on scientific evidence presented in open forum and on published scientific literature. The draft statement was presented on the final day of the conference and circulated to the audience for comment. The panel released a revised statement later that day at This statement is an independent report of the panel and is not a policy statement of the NIH or the Federal Government. Conclusions Tobacco use remains a very serious public health problem. Coordinated national strategies for tobacco prevention, cessation, and control are essential if the United States is to achieve the Healthy People 2010 goals. Most adult smokers want to quit, and effective interventions exist. However, only a small proportion of tobacco users try treatment. This gap represents a major national quality-of-care problem. Many cities and states have implemented effective policies to reduce tobacco use; public health and government leaders should learn from these experiences. Because smokeless tobacco use may increase in the United States, it will be increasingly important to understand net population harms related to use of smokeless tobacco. Prevention, especially among youth, and cessation are the cornerstones of strategies to reduce tobacco use. Tobacco use is a critical and chronic problem that requires close attention from health care providers, health care organizations, and research support organizations.