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April 1991

Third World Targeted by Tobacco Firms

Author Affiliations

Seattle, Wash

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1991;117(4):451. doi:10.1001/archotol.1991.01870160105023

To the Editor.—King James I, in 1604, quite succinctly summarized my position on the use of tobacco:

A custome lothesome to the Eye, hatefull to the Nose, harmfull to the Brain, dangerous to the Lungs, and in the black stinking fume thereof, nearest resembling the horrible, stigian smoke of the pit that is bottomless.1

I submit this letter to encourage uncompromising opposition to all efforts, private and governmental, that promote the exportation and use of tobacco.

Tobacco's toll is staggering. As a head and neck surgery resident I have cared for many patients suffering from terminal mouth and throat cancers. These cancers are but a tip on the tobacco-related-disease iceberg. The overwhelming medical evidence that cigarettes are lethal is questioned only by tobacco industry representatives.2 In addition to the health consequences of tobacco, there are sobering economic and environmental costs. The land occupied by tobacco cultivation (roughly