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Tobacco smoking is now generally accepted as the most important cause of premature death and of much chronic ill health in most industrialized countries. In recent years - fostered by ruthless marketing by the multinational tobacco companies - the habit has been increasing in many developing countries, which will add a further burden of smoking-related disease to their already heavy burdens of communicable disease and malnutrition. Tobacco smoking is also increasing in many Eastern European countries, threatening to worsen a health record that is already causing much international concern. This study provides a comprehensive overview of the effects of smoking both on smokers and on those exposed involuntarily to smoke in the environment. It also reviews the strategy of the tobacco industry in its efforts to promote smoking, and examines in detail the methods available to health workers and to governments for the controlling the epidemic. It should serve as a resource for academics, a guide for health administrators, and as ammunition for the many active compaigners throughout the world who are seeking to bring an end to this tragic and preventable pandemic of disease and death.
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