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November 4, 2022

The Tobacco Industry and Harm Reduction

Author Affiliations
  • 1Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard Kennedy School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention, Madison
JAMA. 2022;328(20):2009-2010. doi:10.1001/jama.2022.20679

As the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) embarks on historic regulatory actions that could fundamentally reshape the future of public health, chances of progress depend heavily on the nature of the response of the tobacco industry. Global tobacco use, involving 1.14 billion smokers consuming 5.19 trillion cigarettes annually,1 caused 100 million deaths in the 20th century. The death toll could rise by another billion in the 21st century. Until now, the tobacco industry has, in addition to producing and marketing cigarettes and other combustible products, systematically blocked evidence-based tobacco control measures, such as tobacco taxes and graphic warning labels. They have recently added yet another layer of business strategy that complicates the landscape even further.

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