A Youth-Centered Tobacco Prevention Policy: An Institute of Medicine Report

  • Barbara S. Lynch


Most smokers begin smoking during childhood and adolescence, and nicotine addiction begins during the first few years of tobacco use. In the United States, of adults who smoke daily, 89% began using cigarettes and 71% began smoking daily by or at age 18. Therefore, the premise of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report is that, in the long run, the health, social, and economic burdens of tobacco use can be most efficiently reduced through a youth-centered policy aimed at preventing children and adolescents from initiating tobacco use. The report, initiated in April 1993 and released on September 13, 1994, is the result of a rigorous and open-minded inquiry by an IOM committee charged with the responsibilities of reviewing the scientific research base on tobacco use by children and youths and of making practical science-based policy recommendations that will contribute to accomplishing the Year 2000 goals of reducing nicotine dependence among children and youths. Therefore, in addition to presenting the relevant epidemiologic and scientific data establishing tobacco use by youths and the nature of nicotine addiction, the report presents the pertinent empirical evidence for seven policy and program issues:
  • Social Norms and the Acceptability of Tobacco Use

  • Tobacco Advertising and Promotion

  • Research-Based Prevention Programs in Schools and Communities

  • Tobacco Taxation

  • Youth Access to Tobacco Products

  • Regulation of the Labeling, Packaging, and Contents of Tobacco Products

  • Coordination of Policies and Research


Tobacco Control Tobacco Product Scientific Research Base Nicotine Addiction Tobacco Advertising 
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  1. The complete title of the IOM report is GROWING UP TOBACCO FREE: PREVENTING NICOTINE ADDICTION IN CHILDREN AND YOUTHS. The report can be ordered from: The National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Lockbox 285 Washington, D.C. 20055 Tel. 202–334–3313 or 800–624–6242Google Scholar
  2. Orders from the United Kingdom, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East should be sent to: Plymbridge Distributors Ltd. Estover Plymouth PL6 7PZ, United KingdomGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara S. Lynch
    • 1
  1. 1.RockvilleUSA

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