A study has just come out linking mortality from tuberculosis and projecting 'extra' deaths in future years with increasing smoking rates in affected areas. Tobacco control appears to be the solution once again:
Tobacco smoking could substantially increase tuberculosis cases and deaths worldwide in coming years, undermining progress towards tuberculosis mortality targets. Aggressive tobacco control could avert millions of deaths from tuberculosis.Astonishingly a spokesman for the British Lung Foundation commented thus:
"Concerted international efforts are now under way to try and turn the tide of TB, but this important research shows that all these efforts may be undermined by the tobacco industry's continuing aggressive promotion of smoking in many parts of the world."Do these people never give up? As if it weren't enough trying to divert all health resources to the supposed scourge of tobacco, the global health crusade now attempts to give the impression that communicable disease control is also best managed by 'aggressive' action against tobacco companies. Is all disease control from now on to address lifestyle issues at the expense of all else?
(In certain indoor settings of course there are technological solutions available to prevent the spread of contagious disease, including TB. Although these systems have been in use in health care in the UK for many years, they are unlikely to satisfy anti-tobacco crusaders in the health service – these people deny that the air-cleaning systems could deal effectively with tobacco smoke, so how can they be expected to deal with mycobacterium tuberculosis?)