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Tobacco endgames: What they are and are not, issues for tobacco control strategic planning and a possible US scenario


Tobacco 'endgame' discourse has emerged in recognition of the nature of the global public health emergency created by tobacco use and tobacco promotion. This discourse is a promising development, but translating it into action requires developing some consensus, at least by countries or regions. It also requires negotiating some of the recurring tensions within the tobacco control movement, contributing to risks for the movement as visionaries clash with pragmatists. This paper outlines one combination of approaches that might hold promise for the US situation. Every significant achievement in tobacco control was preceded by many influential people saying it couldn't be done, wouldn't work, or would create new problems. The risks of not envisioning an endpoint for the tobacco epidemic are far greater than the risks of attempting any endgame solutions and failing.

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