Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are now the number one cause of death in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), such as those in South East Asia (SEA). It is projected that SEA countries will have the greatest total number of deaths due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by 2020. In low resource countries, the rising burden of CVDs imposes severe economic consequences that range from impoverishment of families to high health system costs and the weakening of country economies. There are two possible options to be considered for addressing this issue: a "population-based strategy" and/or a "high risk" strategy. The question is, what is the optimal way to reduce the excessive burden of these diseases in the LMICs. We believe that by applying systematic policy and smoking cessation programs with proven effectiveness, there is a chance that the high smoking prevalence, particularly among SEA.
Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier B.V.