A global approach to tobacco policy

Lung Cancer. 2003 Feb;39(2):113-7. doi: 10.1016/s0169-5002(02)00456-7.


The battle to control lung cancer has been an outcome of policies established over the years, largely since the 1960s. Early policies focussed on abolition of tobacco promotion, help in cessation of smoking, health warnings and labeling with tar and nicotine yields, public education, reduction of tar and nicotine yields, increases in tax and prevention of sales to minors. Over time the advent of nicotine replacement therapy, earmarking of tax for health purposes and counter-advertising became part of this policy. Over time the low tar policy delivered some but not all the benefits expected and the reasons for this are described. Modern approaches now feature regulation of the product with a reduction in the amounts of carcinogens and toxins in the smoke, a new measurement system for nicotine, a discussion of the options for nicotine policy and reduction of exposure to secondhand smoke.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Health Education
  • Health Policy / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Smoking / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Social Control Policies / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Tobacco Industry / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / prevention & control


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution