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 MADISON, Wisc., Jan. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Since the U.S. Surgeon General's first historic announcement about the dangers of smoking was issued on Jan. 11, 1964, we've come a long way toward educating the public about the dangers of smoking. In the 1960s, tobacco companies were required to put health warnings on cigarette packages. Cigarette broadcast ads were banned in the 70s, and in the 80s, smoking was prohibited in many public places. Yet today, 46 million Americans continue to smoke, and that number appears to be growing.
 "Despite the progress we have made in the past 30 years, much remains to be done," says Michael Fiore, MD, MPH, director of the Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention at the University of Wisconsin. "A major priority must be to better educate children and adolescents about the dangers of smoking to prevent them from ever starting." Today, more than 4 million American teenagers smoke, and each day 3,000 young people try their first cigarette.
 Increasing the excise tax on cigarettes to more than $2 per pack is another way the government can discourage smoking. According to a recent Gallup survey of Americans who smoke, the majority (78 percent) of smokers indicate that they would quit if the total cost of cigarettes was more than $4 per pack.
 Three out of four smokers believe that they will try to quit smoking in the next five years, according to the Gallup survey, yet most will fail. Improving smokers' access to safe and effective smoking cessation aids will help them to quit, according to Fiore.
 Thirty years later, although much has been done to educate Americans about the dangers of cigarette smoke, smoking remains the single most preventable cause of death in the United States.
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CO: Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention ST: Wisconsin IN: HEA TOB SU:

JM-LS -- LA005 -- 0532 01/10/94 11:25 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 10, 1994

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