derek yach, Author at Foundation for a Smoke-Free World

A tale of two smoking studies led by Sir Richard Peto

In 1951, Sirs Richard Doll and Austin Bradford Hill began surveying thousands of doctors to determine the cause of rising lung cancer rates in the United Kingdom. Initial results clearly identified smoking as the culprit; and follow-up studies revealed additional causes of death attributable to the habit. This research galvanized doctors to take concrete actions: […]

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World No Tobacco Day 2020

Lives are lost to smoking every day. Yet, the tobacco epidemic rarely earns widespread attention—particularly amidst more acute crises like COVID-19. On World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) we strive to reinvigorate the fight against smoking, and to stress the uniquely devastating effects of tobacco on global health. Launched in 1988 under the auspices of the […]

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When children become the caretakers: looking out for elderly loved ones amidst a global pandemic

They nurtured younger generations, and they can provide wisdom and stability in a fast-moving world. Yet public health officials usually prioritize infant and adolescent health. The underlying assumption here is that unhealthy habits can’t be reversed later in life, and the impact those habits have on an individual’s health can’t be eliminated or even significantly […]

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After a year of setbacks, a new decade brings new hope in the fight to end smoking

2019 began auspiciously, with a sense that the end of smoking might finally be on the horizon. This ambience of optimism, however, was short-lived. Instead of progress, 2019 brought a series of setbacks, schisms, and squandered opportunities to improve global health. Still, I remain hopeful that 2020 can be different. Over the past year, the […]

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A Lens on Smoking, Noncommunicable Diseases, and Social Injustice

Smoking is a major behavioral risk factor common to all four major noncommunicable diseases (NCDs)—namely, cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases. Approximately 80% of the world’s 1.1 billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs); and NCDs are estimated to cause more than two-thirds of all deaths in developing countries. This […]

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