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.
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