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Acting U.S. Surgeon General to speak at Reduce Tobacco Use Conference

April 2, 2014

Other speakers include Director of FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products

ARLINGTON- Acting U.S. Surgeon General Boris Lushniak, M.D., M.P.H. will deliver the keynote address at the 2014 national Reduce Tobacco Use conference, to be held April 10-11 at the Sheraton Pentagon City in Arlington.

Lushniak will speak about the progress made in tobacco prevention since the first U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health was released 50 years ago. The conference’s opening remarks will be delivered by Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources Dr. Bill Hazel.

Other speakers at the conference will include Mitch Zeller, director of the U.S. Food and          Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products, and Karla Sneegas, Branch Chief, Program Services Branch, for the Office on Smoking and Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). During the conference CVS Caremark will also receive a special award for its move to eliminate sales of tobacco products from its 7,600 nationwide pharmacies by Oct. 1.

Hosted by the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth and Prevention Connections, the national Reduce Tobacco Use Conference will focus on the latest in tobacco-use prevention and cessation strategies for children, teens and young adults. Topics to be addressed include e-cigarettes, the appeal of flavored tobacco products to young people and reducing tobacco use among LGBT young adults.

More than 400 participants from as far away as Canada and Guam are expected at the conference, including educators, physicians, pediatricians and health professionals. More information can be found at

Supporters of the conference include: the Virginia Department of Health, Legacy, Sentara, American Heart Association, coVita, Fors Marsh Group and Rescue SCG.


About Acting U.S. Surgeon General Boris Lushniak:

Rear Admiral (RADM) Boris D. Lushniak, M.D., M.P.H., is the Acting United States Surgeon General. In this role, Dr. Lushniak articulates the best available scientific information to the public regarding ways to improve personal health and the health of the Nation. He also oversees the operations of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, comprised of approximately 6,700 uniformed health officers who serve in locations around the world to promote, protect, and advance the health and safety of our nation. Dr. Lushniak served as Deputy Surgeon General from November 2010 until July 17, 2013, when he assumed the duties of Acting Surgeon General.

A firm believer in leadership by example, RADM Lushniak promotes the core messages of the National Prevention Strategy via his active lifestyle. He is an avid long-distance bicyclist, runner and hiker. In 2012, he scaled the summit of the most heavily-glaciated peak in the United States, Washington’s 14-thousand foot Mount Rainier. He also leads community Surgeon General’s Walks throughout the United States. He resides in Rockville, Md., with his wife, Dr. Patricia Cusumano, and two daughters, Larissa and Stephanie.

About the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth:

Established by the Virginia General Assembly in 1999, the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth is responsible for statewide efforts to prevent and reduce youth tobacco use and childhood obesity. Since the Foundation began its work in 2001, high school smoking in Virginia has been cut more than in half and the number of middle school smokers has dropped more than 70 percent!

The Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth directly reaches about 50,000 children each year through classroom-based prevention programs in public schools, after-school programs, community centers, daycares and other youth centers across the state. VFHY’s award-winning marketing campaign delivers prevention messages to more than 450,000 children annually through TV and radio ads and Internet content.

For more information about the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth, please visit our website at

About Prevention Connections:

Prevention Connections is committed to the prevention and reduction of tobacco use and obesity — the two leading causes of preventable deaths in the United States — through education, intervention, policy development and community outreach to improve the health of individuals and communities. For more information about Prevention Connections, please visit our website at


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