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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(1), 69-83;

Fighting Tobacco Smoking - a Difficult but Not Impossible Battle

Department of Applied Science, Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education, 30 Shing Tai Road, Chai Wan, Hong Kong
Department of Pediatrics, The University of Calgary, Alberta Children’s Hospital, #200, 233-16th Ave, N.W., Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2M 0H5
Department of Pediatrics, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong
Department of Community and Family Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 December 2008 / Accepted: 31 December 2008 / Published: 5 January 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smoking and Tobacco Control)
Full-Text   |   PDF [272 KB, uploaded 19 June 2014]


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco-related disease is the single largest preventable cause of death in the world today, killing around 5.4 million people a year – an average of one person every six seconds. The total number of death caused by tobacco consumption is higher than that of tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria combined. Unlike other communicable diseases, however, tobacco-related disease has a man-made consensus vector – the tobacco companies that play an active role to promote tobacco consumption, which directly heightens the disease morbidity. Any public health policy designed to curb smoking behavior has to prepare for opposite lobbying actions from tobacco companies that undermine the effects of the health measures. Another unique nature of the tobacco epidemic is that it can be cured, not by medicines or vaccines, but on the concerted actions of government and civil society. Many countries with a history of tobacco control measures indeed experienced a reduction of tobacco consumption. As most of these governments launched a range of measures simultaneously, it is hard to quantify the relative merits of different control strategies that contributed to the drop in the number of smokers. These packages of strategies can come in different forms but with some common features. Political actions with government support, funding, and protection are crucial. Without these, antismoking efforts in any part of the world are unlikely to be successful. View Full-Text
Keywords: Tobacco; smoking; cigarette; World Health Organization; epidemic Tobacco; smoking; cigarette; World Health Organization; epidemic
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Man-Kit Leung, C.; Leung, A.K.C.; Ellis Hon, K.-L.; Yim-Fai Kong, A. Fighting Tobacco Smoking - a Difficult but Not Impossible Battle. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6, 69-83.

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