Outsourcing addictionWe examine why smoking is on the rise in developing countries.
Pro-kretek protest in Indonesia [EPA]
The adverse health effects of smoking are well-known. Research shows smoking has killed more people globally than alcohol, AIDS, car accidents, drugs and crime combined. Despite the risks, tobacco profits continue to soar, reaching $35 billion in 2010, or the combined profits of Coca-Cola, Microsoft and McDonald's.
Meanwhile, the demographics of global tobacco use are shifting. As smoking rates decline in the US and Western Europe, consumption in the developing world is booming. It is predicted 80 per cent of global tobacco consumption will be in the developing world by 2030.
Some blame the smoking boom on aggressive marketing campaigns by tobacco companies while others point the finger at local governments who are hungry for revenues.
In this episode of The Stream, we speak to Dr. Prabhat Jha (@CGHR_org), director of the Center for Global Health Research, and Dr. Vinayak Prasad (@Vinayakmprasad), project manager of the Tobacco Free Initiative at the World Health Organization. Members of the Stream community also join the discussion via Google+ hangout.
What do you think? Who’s responsible for the rise in global tobacco consumption? Send us your thoughts and comments on Facebook or Twitter using #AJStream.