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UCI-led research team recommends new tobacco control policies for lawmakers

Irvine, Calif., Oct. 7, 2005 -- By increasing cigarette taxes, raising the smoking age and adopting new or enforcing current regulations that prevent or delay youth smoking, elected officials and other policy makers can improve lives and save billions of taxpayer dollars, according to a UC Irvine-led tobacco policy consortium.

"Our research shows that reducing smoking initiation in youth is likely to offer the largest public health impact during this new century," said Daniel Stokols, UCI professor of planning, policy and design, who helped establish the consortium -- a partnership of researchers, community leaders, health advocates, school administrators, teachers and elected officials.

The consortium explored programs and policy initiatives for youth smoking intervention through direct translation of UCI tobacco-research findings. Based on these and previous UCI youth tobacco-use findings, the UC Irvine Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center (TTURC) Tobacco Policy Consortium developed policy recommendations, published in a recent report titled "Prevent Youth Smoking." To read the report, see www.tturc.uci.edu.

Their recommendations are timely as California legislators debate budget and program issues concerning smoking prevention, cessation and tobacco licensing. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Californians spent $7.1 billion in smoking-attributable medical costs in 1998.

"With our escalating knowledge of how young people become vulnerable to nicotine addiction and the harmful effects of smoking, policy makers and educators now have an unprecedented opportunity to adopt bold new measures for preventing adolescent smoking and nicotine addiction," said Larry Jamner, UCI professor of psychology and social behavior, who launched the consortium in 2003 with Stokols.

The group now offers the following recommendations derived from the CDC and from previous findings of UCI TTURC research:
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Contact: Louri Groves
lgroves@uci.edu
949-824-9307
University of California - Irvine
7-Oct-2005


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