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Tobacco and the global lung cancer epidemic

Abstract

Tobacco is the world's single most avoidable cause of death. The World Health Organization has calculated that the 5.6 trillion cigarettes smoked per year at the close of the twentieth century will cause nearly 10 million fatalities per year by 2030. Lung cancer is the most common tobacco-related cause of cancer mortality, with one case being produced for every 3 million cigarettes smoked. How was the global lung cancer epidemic recognized, and what can we expect in the future?

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Figure 1: The oldest existing illustration of a smoker — a Mayan god.
Figure 2: The Bonsack cigarette-making machine.
Figure 3: Global cigarette consumption (a) and lung cancer mortality (b), 1900–2030.

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FURTHER INFORMATION

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)

American Cancer Society

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Tobacco Control Archives from the UCSF Library

Tobacco Timeline

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Proctor, R. Tobacco and the global lung cancer epidemic. Nat Rev Cancer 1, 82–86 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1038/35094091

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