Optimal use of current knowledge could reduce the overall cancer incidence by at least 3 million. Tobacco control is the most urgent need. We need to look for longterm solutions here.
The politics of tobacco is a complex conspiratorial web ot industrialists, farmers, manufacturers, politicians and the pensions business, all looking after their own interests.
Reduce cigarette consumption in many countries Jnd the economy simply collapses. Governments are naturally cautious. In democracies they are subject to intense lobbying. In less democratic societies corruption, using the massive profits generated by the industry, usually achieves the desired endpoint. Advertising blatantly exploits the young of the developing world, associating images of sex, success and wealth with cigarettes as a lifestyle marker. The solutions are complex and require considerable political will. But with forceful and concerted international action against cigarette promotion, we could reduce cancer incidence by 20 per cent by the year 2020.
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