The Tobacco Pandemic
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Tobacco-Free Kids

The Tobacco Pandemic

"About 1.1 billion people smoke worldwide. By 2025, the number is expected to rise to more than 1.6 billion.

With current smoking patterns, about 500 million people alive today will eventually be killed by tobacco use. More than half of these future deaths will occur among today's children and teenagers.

Every day, about 80,000 to 100,000 young people become regular long-term smokers, most of them in the developing countries.

By 2030, tobacco is expected to be the single biggest cause of death worldwide, accounting for about 10 million deaths per year. Half of these deaths will be in middle age (35-69), losing 20 to 25 years of life."

From: "Tobacco Control Can Prevent Millions of Death Worldwide," World Bank Study, May 1999. Also see: The American Legacy Foundation, a Washington D.C. based public health foundation committed to working with other organizations that are interested in decreasing the use of tobacco by Americans.

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

More than 400,000 Americans die every year from tobacco-caused disease, and 3,000 kids a day become addicted, one-third of whom will die prematurely.

Is the Bush Justice Department back tracking in the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization) lawsuit against the tobacco industry?

Phillip Morris Wins When People Die...

"Indirect positive effects [of tobacco sales] include savings in public health-care costs and state pensions due to early mortality of smokers, and savings on public costs related to the support of the elderly."

From a report prepared by Arthur D. Little company for Phillip Morris entitled: "Public Finance Balance of Smoking in the Czech Republic." 

According to a 7/16/01 Wall Street Journal article by Gordon Fairclough, the Arthur Little report, commissioned and released by Phillip Morris, concludes that: "The premature demise of smokers saved the Czech government between 943 million koruna and 1.19 billion koruna (between $23.8 million and $30.1 million or between 20.3 million euros and 25.7 million euros) on health care, pensions and housing for the elderly in 1999. The report also calculates the costs of smoking, such as the expense of caring for sick smokers and people made ill by second-hand smoke as well as income taxes lost when smokers die. Weighing the costs and benefits, the report concludes that in 1999 the government had a net gain of 5.82 billion koruna ($147.1 million) from smoking."

The Phillip Morris report is crystal clear: When people die prematurely there is a win-win for Phillip Morris and a country's health care system- people die sooner and therefore never grow old and burden the state with age related health care, pension and housing costs. Hitler was no less cynical and evil.  

As for the real global economic impact of tobacco, see the World Bank Report, "Economics of Tobacco Control."  Quoting from the report's conclusion:

"Where governments decide to take strong action to curb the tobacco epidemic, a multi-pronged strategy should be adopted. Its aims should be to deter children from smoking, to protect nonsmokers, and to provide all smokers with information about the health effects of tobacco. The strategy, tailored to individual country needs, would include: (1) raising taxes, using as a yardstick the rates adopted by countries with comprehensive tobacco control policies where consumption has fallen. In these countries, tax accounts for two-thirds to four-fifths of the re-tail price of cigarettes; (2) publishing and disseminating research results on the health effects of tobacco, adding prominent warning labels to cigarettes, adopting comprehensive bans on advertising and promotion, and restricting smoking in workplaces and public places; and (3) widening access to nicotine replacement and other cessation therapies."


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