Introduction

Tobacco smoking is the main preventable cause of morbidity and mortality from lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and coronary artery disease, and it remains the most important health hazard in Europe. Today we have cost-effective tools to help smokers to quit and, thanks to political action, we have effective but still improvable legislation that helps to reduce the prevalence of smoking. The greatest effect on reducing morbidity and mortality in the next 10–20 years will come from cessation by current smokers, while intervention aimed at primary prevention – stopping people from taking up the habit at all – will mainly reduce smoking-induced disorders 20-plus years from now. However, the two interventions are complementary.

See the entire Tabacco smoking Chapter