On November 15, Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the launch of BeTobaccoFree.gov, a resource “providing one-stop access to the best and most up-to-date tobacco-related information from across its agencies.” General information on tobacco, federal and state laws and policies, health statistics, and evidence-based methods on how to quit can be viewed from smart phones, tablets and desktops.
BeTobaccoFree.gov incorporates a social media dashboard, “Say It – Share It,” providing real time updates from HHS tobacco related social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others
HHS increased efforts to reduce tobacco use by coordinating across its agencies is evident from key accomplishments including:
- As a result of the Affordable Care Act, most private health insurance plans must cover without cost-sharing tobacco use screening and cessation interventions for tobacco users.
- The FDA banned cigarettes with characterizing flavors other than menthol like candy and fruit, aimed especially towards reducing the impact of tobacco on youth.
- The CDC launched Tips From Former Smokers, the National Cancer Institute launched the smartphone app Quitpal, and the Surgeon General released Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults.
These combined efforts are aimed towards reducing adult smoking from 19 percent to 12 percent and reducing smoking high school students from 18.1 percent to 16 percent by 2020.