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May 26, 1993

'Window to Tobacco-Free World' Clouded Slightly

JAMA. 1993;269(20):2615. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500200025010

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WORLD No-Tobacco Day is next Monday and it might have been a good idea for the World Health Organization to combine this year's slogan with the one for 1994.

The theme of the sixth annual World No-Tobacco Day on May 31 is "health services—window to a tobacco-free world." Next year's theme is "media against tobacco."

But it's this year that the media are having most of the say about tobacco and the news in the United States is not good.

For example, it's currently being reported that in 1991, the latest year for which data have been compiled, 25 years of steady decline in the nation's rate of smoking suddenly halted (JAMA. 1993; 269:1932) and there even was a slight increase in the reported percentage of the US population that smokes—from 25.5% in 1990 to 25.7% in 1991.

Discouraging Developments  Michael P. Eriksen, ScD, director, Office on Smoking and Health,