Take a Page From Anti-Smoking

Gracie Cavnar
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stop-smoking.jpgBack in 1956, 57% of American men were smokers, and that year alone, 29,000 of them died from lung cancer. You hear that now and it seems . . . . mindboggling.

In fifty-seven years we have slashed the smoking rate to 18.9%. The fix was multi-layered and hard won over decades: school-based education; reducing minors access; healthcare provider counseling; increased excise taxes; warning labels; restricting or eliminating advertising--especially directed at youth; and establishing indoors as a smoke free zone.  Nowadays all that seems like just common sense.

But, because of the billions of dollars wielded by tobacco companies and their influence on lawmakers and the market, because everyone was in denial about the negative health effects and because the industry's continued to insist that nicotine was not addictive, these rational controls took nearly sixty years to finally get right.
In the meantime, over 22 million Americans lost their lives because of smoking.

We've seen this situation play out time and time again. From controlling drug and alcohol consumption, to mandating seat belts and establishing OSHA, ultimately, after years of needless injury, death and chronic disease, people come to their senses and fix the problem.

And it's time to do just that with the obesity epidemic.

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