To the Editor:
This month is the 50th anniversary of the first Surgeon
General's Report that let everyone know smoking was linked to cancer and other diseases. Much has changed since then, even in Virginia - smokefree restaurants, youth smoking prevention programs, federal tax increases, free phone counseling (1-800-QUIT NOW). All have helped lower adult smoking rates in Virginia to 19 percent.
But 50 years later, almost one out of five Virginia adults still does the thing that's the number one cause of preventable death: smokes. The work must continue. Not just to help smokers quit but also provide youth with tools needed to choose being tobacco-free. If we don't support additional, ongoing efforts to reduce tobacco use we will only be celebrating progress on the 100th anniversary of the Surgeon
General's Report instead of being able to remark, "Remember when people smoked?" Wouldn't you like your children and grandchildren to be able to say that?