The global burden of cancer is escalating as a result of dramatic increases in the use of tobacco in the developing world. The use of tobacco is linked to the development of a broad variety of cancers, mainly lung cancer, the single most common cancer in the world. Tobacco smoking-attributable deaths extends beyond cancer and include stroke, heart attack and COPD. Widening disparities in cancer-related mortality have shifted towards a more dramatic burden in the developing world. Appropriate interventions must be implemented to reduce tobacco use and prevent global mortality that has escalated to epidemic levels. Tobacco control policies, including public health advertisement campaigns, warning labels, adoption of smoke-free laws, comprehensive bans and tax policies are highly effective measures to control tobacco use. Clinicians and academic institutions have to be actively committed to support tobacco control initiatives. The reduction in cancer related morbidity and mortality should be viewed as a global crisis and definitive results will depend on a multilevel effort to effectively reduce the burden of cancer, particularly in underprivileged regions of the world.
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