Our society bears a tremendous public health burden from tobacco-related disability and death, particularly in the realm of cancer. Yet research in lung cancer and other tobacco-related diseases research is dramatically underfunded when compared to the number of people affected. Persuading policy makers to increase funding for tobacco-related research, treatment, and policy initiatives will require considerable cooperation among the researchers, clinicians, and advocates who focus on tobacco control and those who concentrate on tobacco-related disease. Traditionally, these groups have battled over resources, expending precious energy competing for scarce funding. We propose a new way forward: these forces should come together in support of a common agenda that includes both increased tobacco control efforts and additional funding for disease-related research and treatment. Speaking with a unified voice in support of a full continuum of tobacco-related policy initiatives would significantly increase the size and influence of the coalition working to address this public health epidemic. Working together offers our nation the best chance of significantly reducing the scourge of disease and death caused by tobacco use.
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