Title: Tobacco: A Global Threat
Year of Publication: 2003
Author: John Crofton and David Simpson
Summary: Nicotine addiction, through cigarette smoking and other tobacco use that it perpetuates, is the major cause of preventable deaths in our world. It is exceptional in that the income the cigarette companies and their shareholders receive is directly related to the number of people who became addicted will die of the many cancers and other diseases caused by tobacco. Moreover, parents’ smoking can damage both their unborn babies and their children.
As a paediatrician i am particularly concerned with the worldwide targeting of cigarette promotion towards children and young women, the future mothers. Nicotine addiction is probably as difficult to overcome as addiction to cocaine. The younger a child becomes addicted the greater the damage done to the health and the greater the difficulty and expense of curing the addiction.
Those who live in richer countries have more effective legal systems and community organizations which can resist the wealth of the tobacco companies intent on spreading nicotine addiction. This is not so in the “resource poor” countries where most of the world’s population live.