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March 11, 2009

Setting the National Tobacco Control Agenda

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: The University of Arizona, Arizona Cancer Center, Tucson.

JAMA. 2009;301(10):1058-1060. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.296

President Obama's recent comment that the White House will be smoke-free even if he continues to smoke1 and the report that cancer will surpass heart disease in 2010 as the leading cause of death in the world largely due to tobacco use2 are reminders that smoking—the leading preventable cause of death in the United States—remains a massive public health problem for this and future generations. The prevalence of tobacco use has declined to just less than 20% of the US population,3 but with more than 43 million smokers3 in the United States, an estimated 400 000 individuals die prematurely each year due to tobacco use.4