The number of teenagers who smoke is estimated to be between three million and six million only in the U.S.
According to the surgeon general's 1989 report on smoking, cigarettes are responsible for more than 85% of all lung cancers.
Smoking is also associated with cancer of the kidney, stomach, mouth, larynx, pharynx, esophagus, ureter, bladder, uterine cervix and pancreas.
The American Cancer Society (1599 Clifton Road N.E., Atlanta, Ga. 30345; 404/320-3333) and the Health and Human Services Department estimate that smoking is responsible for 30% of all deaths from cancer.
By any financial measure, tobacco companies are among the most successful in U.S. business.
Philip Morris is one of the country's most generous supporters of the arts, contributing to museums, dance companies and theaters. Other tobacco companies also polish their images by supporting worthy causes.
Cigarette smoke, whether inhaled directly or secondhand, is a proven killer, and all attempts should be made to reduce its presence in public areas.
Also, smoking bans have had no negative economic impact on restaurants or bars, and in many cases they have boosted revenues in such establishments. Public opinion polls show that most people favor widespread smoking bans.
People continue to take up smoking despite clear evidence that inhaling tobacco is harmful.