"The World Bank comprehensively dismisses the arguments of the tobacco industry that tobacco control measures impair freedom of choice."- The Financial Times, May 18, 1999Smoking already kills 1 in 10 adults worldwide. Until recently, the epidemic and chronic disease caused by smoking mainly affected rich nations but it is now rapidly shifting to the developing world. Few people will dispute that smoking is damaging health on a global scale. However, many governments have taken little economic action to control smoking (higher taxes, comprehensive bans on advertising, or restrictions on smoking in public places) due to concerns that interventions would have harmful economic consequences.'Curbing the Epidemic' addresses important economic and social issues that confront policymakers when dealing with tobacco control policies and their impact on economies. The economic aspects of tobacco control are critical since the production and consumption of tobacco have a strong impact on the social and economic resources of both developed and developing countries. The report: Assesses the expected consequences of tobacco control for health Assesses the consequences for economies and individuals Demonstrates that the economic fears that have deterred policymakers from taking action are largely unfounded. It is believed with current smoking patterns, about 500 million people alive today will eventually be killed by tobacco use. By 2030, the report states that tobacco is expected to be the single biggest cause of death worldwide, accounting for about 10 million deaths per year.In light of the rising death toll from tobacco use, this report is also very timely. It draws on many productive collaborations that have arisen among governments, NGOs, and agencies within the United Nations system (UNICEF, the Food and Agricultural Organization and the International Monetary Fund).