12 or older began
smoking cigarettes daily in 2012 ( 20).
Unfortunately, the rate of decline in smoking prevalence in
the United States has slowed in recent years ( 18). In fact,
almost 70 million individuals age 12 or older are regular
users of tobacco products ( 20).
If we are to eradicate one of the biggest threats to public
health, researchers, clinicians, advocates, and policymakers
must continue to work together. Several steps that could
be taken to achieve this goal are outlined in this year’s
Surgeon General’s report, “;e Health Consequences of
Smoking— 50 Years of Progress,” (see sidebar on Eliminating
Tobacco Use Faster, p. 93) ( 18). Of particular importance is
the regulation of additional tobacco products by the FDA.
Other healthy approaches to living that can signi;cantly
reduce cancer risk are maintaining a healthy weight, which
is de;ned as a body mass index (BMI) between 18. 5 and
24. 9 kg/m2 for adults over 20 years of age; keeping active;
and eating a balanced diet (see sidebar on Reasons to
Maintain a Healthy Weight and Keep Active, p. 18). ;e