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[Comment] Death, disease, and tobacco

Throughout history, humanity has been blighted by epidemics of communicable diseases that medical science and public policy have, to varying degrees, been able to control. Sanitation, immunisation, mosquito nets, and antimicrobial agents are examples of developments that have helped to generate substantial reductions in incidence of and mortality from cholera, dysentery, smallpox, measles, HIV, tuberculosis, and many other infectious diseases. Similar success is now urgently required to halt the global spread of non-communicable diseases that have dominated health in high-income countries for the past century, and are now emerging as major disease burdens in low-income and middle-income countries.