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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CREATIVE DESTRUCTION OF LEGACY INDUSTRIES GIVES BIRTH TO MORE SUSTAINABLE ONES

Around the world, sales volumes of combustible cigarettes are dropping. Meanwhile, growth rates are substantial across a range of tobacco harm reduction products. These trends suggest that some consumers are swapping out conventional cigarettes for newer products—a phenomenon that Jacob Grier refers to as the “creative destruction” of the cigarette industry. Of course, it’s too […]

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india’s wicked bidi problem

Surveying the room in Solapur, I’m struck first by the elegance of the women’s saris, and second, by the iPad. Equipped with advanced facial recognition software, the machine’s sophistication stands in stark contrast to the rest of the scene, which otherwise comprises piles of tendu leaves, processed tobacco, thread, and perilously sharp sheers. Over the […]

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liberation and innovation: lessons from rwanda for legacy industries

I attended the 25th Anniversary of Liberation Day in Kigali on July 4, 2019, commemorating the end of the genocide. The contrast between “then” and today was extraordinary.     Parade commemorating the 25th Anniversary of Liberation Day in Kigali on July 4, 2019.   Rwanda has made progress since 1994 toward attaining many Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). […]

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