Rethinking tobacco control
Joaquin Barnoya explains that reducing smoking is about more than targeting smokers. Particularly in the developing world, we should pay attention to smokeless tobacco and secondhand smoke
- By: Joaquin Barnoya
This month's Student BMJ includes two articles that highlight two different aspects of the global tobacco pandemic. Chibuzo Odigwe (p 294) describes the glamour attached to smoking among Nigerian youths, and Susmita Barman (p 293) describes the use of smokeless tobacco in India. Both articles highlight a common issue: the social acceptability of tobacco use.
Odigwe notes the lack of smoke-free environments in Nigeria. Rather than being the exception, Nigeria is the rule with regard to the availability of smoke-free environments in most of the world. The benefits of smoke-free environments include not only protecting non-smokers from the toxins of second hand smoke but also a decrease in the prevalence of smoking, the number of cigarettes smoked, and mortality due to heart disease.3 The tobacco industry has delayed the creation of smoke-free environments in most of the world. For example, in Latin America the industry's “Latin Project” played a major