Smoking in the west is declining, so the industry is turning to untapped markets, where governments must act to stop it
For decades, smoking has been on the rise, driving more than 100m deaths in the 20th century alone and creating health and other costs of about $1,500bn a year that have hampering global growth. According to a report from the global health policy organisation Vital Strategies and the University of Illinois Chicago in the latest edition of the Tobacco Atlas, the era of big tobacco is coming to an end: there is an unequivocal drop in global smoking rates, to 19.6% in 2019 from 22.6% in 2007.
Concealed in the figures, however, is a plan to turn tobacco back into a growth industry by focusing on Africa.
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