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Massachusetts Medical Society




The figures have become familiar. Tobacco use has been declared "the single most important preventable cause of [premature] death in the United States, accounting for one of every six deaths, or some 390,000 deaths annually. "The health goals of the nation for the year 2000 call for reducing the prevalence of cigarette smoking to 15 percent among adults (a 48 percent decrease from the current 29 percent) and reducing the rate of beginning smoking among teenagers to 15 percent (a 50 percent decrease from the current rate of 30 percent). The goal of reducing smoking in the United States is not controversial from a medical or public health standpoint. But controversy continues about the most effective methods to achieve this goal and the part tort law should play in discouraging or controlling smoking.


From The New England Journal of Medicine, George J. Annas, Health Warnings, Smoking, and Cancer - The Cipollone Case, Volume 327, Page 1604 Copyright ©(1992) Massachusetts Medical Society. Reprinted with permission.

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