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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.
Better let them smoke and die? #Bloomberg funded major international #NGO’s logic for #LMICs is baffling and worrying writes @swimdaily. #India #data #bidis #science #harmreduction #health #access #UN #mustread https://therearehumansintheroom.csdconsulting.net/
As the world continues to combat the #COVID19 pandemic, a new survey shows that trust in government is significantly lower than trust in the medical community. Derek Yach writes in @BDliveSA that to change unhealthy behavior, doctors must come to the forefront of public outreach.
People trust the state less than doctors, which is where smoking comes in @BD_Africa @INNCOorg @Filtermag_org #Trust in #government and #doctors is key to public support of health policies- from #COVID19 to #smoking https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/2020-08-12-people-trust-the-state-less-than-doctors-which-is-where-smoking-comes-in/
The true cost of a #cigarette is more than it seems. As the world begins to smoke less cigarettes, we must help #Malawi’s smallholder #tobaccofarmers switch to sustainable alternative livelihoods. https://bit.ly/3bEUZ8Y
In a paper @MarewaGlover co-authored, she explores how #tobaccocontrol initiatives ignore #indigenous communities. On #IndigenousPeoplesDay, read about the groups that have disproportionately high smoking rates and the potential solutions. https://bit.ly/3gvtYYI
Many governments in #LatinAmerica (including #Mexico, #Argentina, & #Brazil) have passed restrictive policies on safer #nicotine products. @VIDAdotNEWS hosted a panel discussion on the unintended consequences of strict regulations in Latin America.
Live right now: "Why Bans Are Not Best for Latin America"
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