It is tragic that European settlers of the New World picked up the habit of the Indians whom they found smoking tobacco.
Over the centuries, tobacco became a multibillion-dollar industry -- with deadly results for many and major health consequences for countless others.
Now the U.S. Food and Drug Administration plans to spend about $600 million in the next five years on another "education" effort about the dangers of tobacco use. But does anyone not already know the dangers? Aren't we all aware of smoking-related diseases?
It is understandable, though regrettable, that currently hooked smokers have difficulty quitting. But with the harm of tobacco use being painfully obvious, why would anyone start?
This latest in our country's series of anti-smoking campaigns will target everyone from young people to the disabled.
With a price tag of $600 million, we surely hope it works. But it should be evident by now that the mere knowledge of tobacco's dangers often does not deter people from taking up the habit.