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  1. Saul Shiftman
  1. Smoking Research Group, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

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I’m happy to welcome you here on behalf of the Planning Committee. It’s a pleasure to see this actually happening after almost a year of planning, and I’m looking forward to the next day and a half.

We have 2454 days left until the year 2000, at which point the national goals are to have a smoking prevalence of 15%. We’re now at roughly 25%. Put another way, we are 81% of the way to the year 2000 from 1964, the year of the first Surgeon General’s report, and we have cut smoking prevalence roughly by half. So we’re doing pretty well but still have a bit further to go.

In this morning’s panel, we’ll be discussing where we’re going and how we’re going to get there in terms of smoking cessation. Procedurally, this panel and the panels that follow will have a principal speaker, in this case Dr Gary Giovino, who will give a talk of about 20 minutes, and we’ll then follow that with comments from a group of panellists, about five minutes each, followed by an opportunity for open discussion between you and the panel, and between you and the speaker. Let me now introduce the panellists and Dr Giovino.

Dr Dileep Bal is currently the Chief of Chronic Diseases Control for the State of California Department of Health Services. Dr Bal has a hand in administering the monies generated by Proposition 99, which is a 25 cent sales tax on cigarettes, which generates about a hundred million dollars a year for smoking research and control activities.

Mr Glen Bennett is currently Coordinator of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s Smoking Education Program, whose job it is to translate findings from intervention research into community action and education programmes; he was formerly the director of smoking intervention with the American Heart Association.

Dr Ellen Gritz is a long-time colleague of mine, although I hesitate to remind her in public that she and I first started working together a little over 20 years ago in Los Angeles. She is certainly one of the leading experts in smoking and smoking cessation, and has particular interests in smoking among women and in special populations.

Our last panellist, Dr Patrick O’Malley is Senior Study Director at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, and he is a co-director of a very well-known study called Monitoring the Future, which is a continuing study of the lifestyles and values of American youth with quite a bit of focus on smoking and drug use.

And finally our speaker, Dr Gary Giovino, got his start in psychology as an undergraduate, was involved subsequently in clinical treatment of smoking and smoking cessation, graduated from psychology to epidemiology, where he got his degree, and is currently the chief of epidemiology at the Office on Smoking and Health, and he’s been involved in projects too numerous and varied to mention on smoking and smoking cessation. Dr Giovino will be talking on trends in smoking cessation.

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