Big, “little,” and medium sized problems

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: (Published 21 November 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:0

About 750 000 Chinese people, mostly men, die from smoking each year. By the time that the young smokers of today reach middle or old age the number will have increased to three million. If current smoking patterns persist tobacco will kill 100 million of the 0.3 billion males now aged 0-29. These figures are more like those from astronomy than medicine. They emerge from two huge studies of smoking in China that are important not only for their public health message but also for their highly innovatory epidemiology (pp 1411 and 1423). …

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