Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States. In Arkansas, more than 5,800 people die from tobacco-related illnesses each year.
Early initiation of tobacco use has been shown to increase the likelihood of lifetime smoking and the risk for tobacco-related illness and mortality. Therefore it is important to prevent initiation of tobacco use and also promote cessation of tobacco use among all Arkansans.
At the forefront of the fight is the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program (TPCP) at the Arkansas Department of Health. Launched in 2001, the TPCP has several components aimed at reducing tobacco use by Arkansans. TPCP is charged with developing and implementing a statewide and comprehensive tobacco education, prevention and cessation program. Each TPCP program component is developed and implemented based on evidence-based strategies outlined in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Best Practices and Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs.