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August 9, 2000

Tobacco Control in the 21st CenturySearching for Answers in a Sea of Change

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Science and Public Health Advocacy, American Medical Association, Chicago, Ill (Dr Houston); and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, NJ (Ms Kaufman).

JAMA. 2000;284(6):752-753. doi:10.1001/jama.284.6.752

The past century has witnessed dramatic changes in all aspects of life, from the Wright brothers to the space shuttle; from the telegraph to e-mail; from house calls to robotic surgery. In matters of health, the 20th century brought increased life expectancy, dramatic shifts in basic public health practice, and shifts in morbidity and mortality away from communicable and infectious disease. In developed nations, chronic illnesses, often attributable to lifestyle factors, have become major sources of ill health and premature death. And for all the health benefits realized during the 20th century, a manmade plague beset society—tobacco use.

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