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WASHINGTON STATE BOARD OF HEALTH CALLS FOR LIMITING YOUTH ACCESS TO TOBACCO

 OLYMPIA, Wash., Feb. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- At its Feb. 10 meeting held in Lacey, the Washington State Board of Health unanimously passed a resolution urging the passage of legislation and supporting other efforts to discourage the use of tobacco products by youth. Reducing tobacco use has been identified as one of the seven Washington State Priority Health Goals for the 1993-95 biennium in the 1992 Washington State Health Report.
 "Approximately 75 percent of tobacco users become addicted to tobacco in their teens," noted Board Chair Beverly J. Lingle. "By limiting youth access to tobacco we can effectively reduce an overwhelming threat to the physical health and well-being of Washington residents."
 The resolution noted that tobacco use can result in addiction, severe disease, disability and early death. Tobacco use directly contributes to 20 percent of all Washington deaths and is a significant risk factor in the four leading causes of death. The resolution also notes the use of tobacco cause multiple health problems that result in a heavy and burdensome economic impact through increased medical costs, lost wages and lowered productivity. Maternal smoking is responsible for approximately 10 percent of all infant deaths and is a significant risk factor in spontaneous abortion, premature births, stillbirths, low birthweight and has adverse effects on fetal development. Up to 37 percent of Washington women under 20 who deliver live births smoke.
 A recent study by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction concluded that over 50 percent of 12th grades have tried smoking and over 24 percent are regular tobacco users by time of high school completion. Since the sale of tobacco products to minors is illegal, it is likely that the majority of teenage smokers become addicted as a result of illegal activity.
 "If we are serious about controlling the long-term costs of health care," stated Board Executive Director Sylvia Beck, "a good place to start is by reducing the single most preventable cause of death." The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recently concluded that environmental tobacco smoke is a Group A human carcinogen, there being sufficient evidence to support a causal association between exposure to secondhand smoke and cancer.
 State of Washington
 WASHINGTON STATE BOARD OF HEALTH
 Resolution On Limiting Youth Access to Tobacco
 Whereas, the State Board of Health has an historic role dating back to the State Constitution of promoting and protecting the health and well-being of Washington citizens in areas ranging from infectious and chronic disease to hazardous environmental conditions; and
 Whereas, the use of tobacco presents an overwhelming threat to the physical health and well-being of the residents of the state of Washington and as such is an appropriate subject to require the Board's attention and concern; and
 Whereas, tobacco use can result in addiction, severe disease, disability and early death by contributing to heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic bronchitis and emphysema, influenza and pneumonia and arterial disease (A); and
 Whereas, tobacco use directly contributed to 8,159 deaths in 1989 in Washington state which was 20 percent of all deaths and was a significant risk factor in the four leading causes of death (B); and
 Whereas, the use of tobacco causes multiple health problems that result in a heavy and burdensome economic impact to the residents of Washington state through increase medical costs, lost wages and lowered productivity (C); and
 Whereas, the total estimated economic impact of smoking in 1989 in Washington state ranged from $760 million to $924 million including $324 million in direct illness care costs, more than $100 million in lost productivity and 1,477,651 disability days (D) and;
 Whereas, maternal smoking is responsible for approximately 10 percent of all infant deaths and is a significant risk factor in spontaneous abortion, premature births, stillbirths, low birthweight and has adverse effects on fetal development (E); and
 Whereas, 25 percent of Washington women who delivered live births in Washington between 1984-90 smoked and up to 37 percent of women under age 20 who delivered live births smoked (F); and
 Whereas, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recently concluded that environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is a Group A human carcinogen, there being sufficient evidence to support a causal association between exposure to ETS and cancer (G); and
 Whereas, approximately 75 percent of tobacco users become addicted to tobacco in their teens (H); and
 Whereas, 11 percent of 6th graders in Washington public schools have tried smoking and 1.4 percent are already regular smokers, and over 50 percent of 12th graders have tried smoking and over 24 percent are regular tobacco users by time of high school completion (I); and
 Whereas, present laws limiting tobacco product access by minors have not effectively stopped teenage tobacco use or limited access to tobacco by minors; and
 Whereas, the U.S. Surgeon General has stated that "smoking is the single most important preventable cause of death" (J), a cause many of us can contribute to reducing; and
 Whereas, Reduce Tobacco Use is one of the seven Priority Health Goals for the 1993-95 biennium established by the 1992 Washington State Health Report;
 Now, therefore, let it be resolved, by the Washington State Board of Health, that we respectfully request the Governor of the State of Washington, members of the Senate and House of Representatives, state agencies, local boards of health, and local health departments/districts support efforts to reduce the sale and use of tobacco products especially so as to discourage the use of tobacco products by youth by supporting legislation, state agency efforts and local public or private efforts to implement the Action Strategies identified in the 1992 Washington State Health Report.
 Adopted by the Washington State Board of Health
 Feb. 10, 1993
 Beverly J. Lingle, Chair
 (A) Washington State Board of Health, 1992 Washington State Health Report, 93.
 (B) 1992 State Health Report, 93.
 (C) 1992 State Health Report, 93.
 (D) 1992 State Health Report, 93.
 (E) 1992 State Health Report, 94.
 (F) 1992 State Health Report, 92.
 (G) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, Respiratory Effects of Passive Smoking: Lung Cancer and Other Disorders, (Washington D.C.: 1992)
 (H) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Public Health Service (PHS), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (CDPHP), Office on Smoking and Health (OSH), Reducing the Health Consequences of Smoking: 25 Years of Progress - A report of the Surgeon General, (Washington, D.C.: 1989)
 (I) Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, A Statewide Report of Substance Abuse in Washington, 1988-90)
 (J) DHHS, PHS, DCD, CDPHP, OSH and The Health Consequences of Smoking - A Report of the Surgeon General,(Washington, D.C. 1982), XI.
 -0- 2/16/93
 /CONTACT: Sylvia Beck of Washington State Board of Health, 206-586-0399/


CO: Washington State Board of Health ST: Washington IN: HEA SU:

TB-JH -- SE011 -- 7052 02/16/93 20:25 EST
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