American Cancer Society, American Heart Association Are Key PartnersPRINCETON, N.J. and WASHINGTON, April 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids today announced an ambitious, three-year collaboration to accelerate progress in reducing tobacco use, the nation's leading cause of preventable death. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130411/DC93271-INFO) (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20080918/CFTFKLOGO) This new initiative comes as the United States nears the 50 th anniversary of the first Surgeon General's report on tobacco, which was issued on Jan. 11, 1964, and alerted the nation to the deadly consequences of smoking. The initiative will build on the tremendous progress that has been made in reducing tobacco use and is aimed at winning the fight against a tobacco epidemic that still kills 443,000 Americans and costs the nation nearly $100 billion in health care expenditures each year. RWJF has made an $8 million grant to Tobacco-Free Kids – initial funding to support an advocacy initiative focused on changing local, state and federal policies to prevent kids from smoking, help smokers quit and protect all Americans from secondhand smoke. The initiative builds on RWJF's longstanding commitment to reducing tobacco use and Tobacco-Free Kids' extensive advocacy capacity and experience. As part of this initiative, the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association will each provide an additional $1 million to support state and local efforts to reduce tobacco use. These contributions will be matched with a portion of the new funds from RWJF. The U.S. has made dramatic progress in reducing smoking. While 42.4 percent of U.S. adults smoked in 1965, only 19 percent did so in 2011 – a 55 percent decline. Smoking among high school students has been cut in half since 1997, from 36.4 percent to 18.1 percent who smoke.