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Making Smoking Prevention a Reality

William L. Roper, MD, MPH
JAMA. 1991;266(22):3188-3189. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470220104039.
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Since the inception of the antitobacco movement in the late 1950s, national, state, and local public health campaigns have delayed an estimated three quarters of a million deaths from tobacco-related disease.1 Although many lives have been saved, one in every five deaths in 1988 was smoking-related, and smoking directly caused 434 000 deaths in 1988.2,3 It is amazing to think that each and every day, 1200 Americans— 50 each hour—lose their lives from preventable smoking-related diseases such as lung cancer, heart disease, and chronic obstructive lung disease.4

Tobacco, the plague of our time, brings forth the need for us to band together—together, we can ultimately save thousands of lives now held hostage by smoking.5 As a community of health professionals, our mission is to support the year 2000 health objectives6 and to acknowledge tobacco as the significant and far-reaching public health problem portrayed in the


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