Stealing a march in the 21st century: accelerating progress in the 100-year war against tobacco addiction in the United States

Am J Public Health. 2009 Jul;99(7):1170-5. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2008.154559. Epub 2009 May 14.


Tobacco use in the United States has declined dramatically over the past 50 years, with the prevalence of cigarette smoking falling from about 42% of all adults to less than 20% by 2007. If this rate of decline continues, smoking could be eliminated in the United States by 2047. Framed in military parlance, we may be halfway through a 100-year war against the leading public health killer of our time. We describe factors that have contributed to progress over the last 50 years and identify policy and other initiatives that can contribute to the elimination of tobacco use in the United States.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Public Policy*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / epidemiology
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / prevention & control*
  • United States / epidemiology