Each year, smoking kills 7.2 million people. That’s one person every six seconds. The dead are mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, sisters and brothers. The vast majority die from diseases like cancer and heart disease associated with inhaling chemical-laced smoke from burning tobacco.
Ultimately, yes, it will be wonderful to eliminate tobacco use altogether, and it’s my goal to see that happen in my lifetime. In the meantime, as the smoke from cigarettes continues to cause so much death and human suffering, reducing the harm from smoking is just as noble of a cause.
For too many years, we’ve been telling smokers they have to quit or die. Yet, many don’t quit. They can’t quit. They don’t have the tools they need to quit. Now though, we live in a time of increased promise for those who smoke. A time when innovation and technology make it possible to separate the dangerous smoke, tar and chemicals from the addictive nicotine. These smoke-free products and other innovations have potential to reduce harm, save lives, and help people to quit altogether. They deserve rigorous and independent study.
I know many people, including some former colleagues of mine, disagree with this approach. I respect – and share — their passionate commitment to ridding the world of tobacco products entirely. I also understand that, for some people, any initiative initially funded by a tobacco company is intrinsically not credible. The tobacco industry’s dubious history offers much evidence to support that view.
But equally dubious is society’s paltry commitment to funding tobacco control research, compared to what is spent on other public health crises. Compare, for example, the approximately $5 billion annual public sector investment in HIV/AIDS research, with the miniscule $25 million per year the public sector invests in smoking cessation research.
With one billion people smoking – and one billion lives hanging in the balance – we urgently must do more cut the adult smoking rate. Too much is at stake.
That is why I founded the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World. In this week’s issue of The Lancet, you can read more about the Foundation’s mission and the stringent safeguards in place to assure the tobacco industry has zero influence over the Foundation’s agenda or research. I invite you to read the article, contribute your ideas, and consider the possibility of a smoke-free world.
Mission is to eliminate smoking worldwide by supporting cessation & harm reduction #research, and transitioning tobacco #farmers to alternative livelihoods.
Researchers, doctors, and community leaders are coming together at @CoeharUnict in Catania, #Italy to drive crucial #research on smoking reduction and cessation. Hear from the trailblazers: http://bit.ly/35BhlWr
Romita Shah discusses key findings from this year’s #ATISummit2019 in #Malawi. As she puts it, “the summit suggested that science, technology, and innovation will play a critical role in helping the agricultural sector in Malawi overcome its challenges.” http://bit.ly/35Zvblq
#DYK in 2016, Brazil, India, and China produced almost 64% of the world’s tobacco (about 10%, 11%, and 42%, respectively). Explore our report on Global Trends in Tobacco Production and Trade for more insightful takeaways. http://bit.ly/2NytTpP
https://www.wsj.com/articles/researchers-say-fda-has-fallen-down-on-e-cigarette-testing-11574850602?emailToken=0a130bb960dec7bc16b0390b4911aa931OgjP5SE8gY6vCi4Ccm9/yXhoXpJTPOq8W2NpeI4S4YCiKxIyaZ9WtjkXqJWtYGw9x9adoWjGwFaNQ9JahwAstjhRIFoo9oHaBGv9yfNK1uryXEzmwiASGWil6OaQ8PE&reflink=article_email_share @SmokeFreeFdn is funding gaps in science mentioned here. We fund research on better cessation, safe harm reduction and biomarkers to predict benefits. Tested in large and diverse user groups. @WSJ
In a new blog post, David Janazzo discusses the importance of the upcoming Tobacco Transformation Index. The goal of this tool is to incentivize and monitor tobacco companies’ efforts towards a world free of high-risk tobacco products. http://bit.ly/2Y988Cb
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