Tobacco smoking: the leading cause of preventable disease worldwide

Thorac Surg Clin. 2013 May;23(2):103-12. doi: 10.1016/j.thorsurg.2013.01.009. Epub 2013 Feb 13.


Tobacco smoking is the world's leading cause of avoidable premature mortality, reflecting the potent toxicity of tobacco smoke inhaled by smokers for decades. In the twentieth century, lung cancer was an early sentinel of the emergence of the still persisting epidemic of tobacco-caused disease. Smoking has declined in many countries, particularly the high-income countries, but low- and middle-income countries remain at risk because of the aggressive tactics of tobacco multinationals. The World Health Organization treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, is a critical factor in countering these tactics and precipitating the end of the global epidemic of tobacco smoking.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Disease / etiology
  • Female
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking / history
  • Smoking Cessation / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Smoking Cessation / methods
  • Tobacco Industry / history*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects*


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution