Tuesday, July 22, 2008


In only 400 years, the small green leafy plant that Native Americans used for religious purposes has spawned a global epidemic. As early as 1938, Raymond Pearl, of the Bloomberg School's predecessor, the School of Hygiene and Public Health, concluded smokers do not live as long as non-smokers. Still, it took 30 years for governments to agree with scientific statements.

Jonathan M. Samet, MD, MS, director of the Institute for Global Tobacco Control hopes other countries will avoid making the mistakes of industrialized nations. "You don't have to do all the studies to learn from us," he says. "There is no difference between a lung in India, or a lung in China, or a lung in the United Kingdom." His point: Learn from mistakes and take action now to curb tobacco use and prevent disease.

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