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Despite the great progress that has been made globally, tobacco control is still not well recognised in many low-income and middle-income countries. I share Hanauer’s fears that advocating a ban may further marginalise tobacco control advocates (though not label them irresponsible) but, because many things previously considered impossible are now more than possible, it’s not a paralysing fear.
Given the millions of deaths each year, I disagree that we should merely continue to do what we do well. In fact, I think that not enough is being done in terms of implementing the whole range of measures outlined in the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). If the FCTC were fully implemented, not just higher taxes and smoke-free environments, tobacco consumption would probably decline to the extent that banning its sale would no longer be a contentious subject. It would be a natural next step in the whole evolutionary process, rather than a revolutionary concept or “a magic bullet”.
Competing interests: None.
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