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On Reducing Teen Smoking

WHEREAS, Human beings are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27); and

WHEREAS, Being created in the image of God endows humans with great dignity and inestimable worth; and

WHEREAS, More than four hundred thousand Americans die every year from tobacco-caused diseases; and

WHEREAS, Every day in our nation, five thousand children under the age of eighteen, including adolescents of childbearing age, smoke their first cigarette; and

WHEREAS, Every day in our nation, two thousand children become regular daily smokers, one-third of whom will die prematurely as a result of tobacco-caused diseases; and

WHEREAS, Approximately one out of five pregnant teenagers passes the risks of smoking on to her baby directly or through exposure to secondhand smoke; and

WHEREAS, Preventing and reducing smoking and other tobacco use among teenagers and other children requires a strong commitment from a broad, diverse range of organizations and individuals concerned about our nation’s youth and public health; and

WHEREAS, According to the American Cancer Society and other national health organizations, one of the most effective ways to reduce smoking and other tobacco use, particularly among adolescents, is to raise the price of cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and other tobacco products through tax increases; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, June 21-22, 2005, commit to add our efforts to those of such national organizations as the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and the American Lung Association to work to reduce tobacco use, especially among teens; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage our churches to redouble their efforts to educate our youth about the dangers of tobacco use; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we applaud those jurisdictions that have helped reduce teen smoking with substantial tax increases on tobacco products; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we commit ourselves to seek ways, through personal efforts and coalitions, to become more involved in our communities and states to prevent and reduce smoking and other tobacco use, especially among teens.