Nuclear weapons pose a particularly destructive threat. Prevention of the proliferation and use of nuclear weapons is urgently important to public health. "Horizontal" proliferation refers to nation-states or nonstate entities that do not have, but are acquiring, nuclear weapons or developing the capability and materials for producing them. "Vertical" proliferation refers to nation-states that do possess nuclear weapons and are increasing their stockpiles of these weapons, improving the technical sophistication or reliability of their weapons, or developing new weapons. Because nation-states or other entities that wish to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons need methods for delivering those weapons, proliferation of delivery mechanisms must also be prevented. Controlling proliferation--and ultimately abolishing nuclear weapons--involves national governments, intergovernmental organizations, nongovernmental and professional organizations, and society at large.