Why Tobacco Use and Smoking Matter
Tobacco use is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced. According to the World Health organization, there are more than one billion smokers in the world today. In the 20th century alone, tobacco has caused 100 million deaths. If trends continue, tobacco will cause an estimated one billion deaths in the 21st century. Most of these deaths will be in developing countries, where 80% of today’s smokers live. Tobacco kills as many as half of all users and is a risk factor for six of the eight leading causes of death around the world. Despite decades of work to reduce its use, tobacco continues to be a leading cause of preventable death and disease in the U.S.
Reducing preventable deaths from tobacco use by promoting social, behavioral, environmental, policy and system change is a major focus at the Gillings School. UNC houses two of 14 new Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science (TCORs): the Center for Regulatory Research on Tobacco Communication and the Center for Tobacco Regulatory Science and Lung Health. The centers, funded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health, are designed to analyze and develop more effective tobacco product regulations for the U.S. that are now possible under the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.
Additional Research in the Field of Tobacco Use and Smoking