Since the 1957 report suggested a link between smoking and lung cancer, the connection has been firmly established.
Lung cancer now kills 20,000 people every year and health experts predict that lifetime smokers have a fifty percent chance of dying of a smoking-related illness in middle-age.
It is also been established that tobacco smoking causes at least twenty-five different diseases including heart disease and strokes.
By 2020, the World Health Organization expects the worldwide death toll to reach ten million, causing 17.7% of all deaths in developed countries.
There are believed to be 1.1 billion smokers in the world, 800 million of them in developing countries.
Source: BBC News [27 June 2006]