New Tobacco Atlas Estimates $35 Billion Tobacco Industry Profits

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New Tobacco Atlas Estimates $35 Billion Tobacco Industry Profits

In 2010, tobacco industry’s profit was equivalent to $6,000 for each death caused by tobacco.
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New Tobacco Atlas Estimates $35 Billion Tobacco Industry Profits from @acsglobal
Thursday, March 29, 2012 - 5:00pm

CONTENT: Press Release

(3BL Media) March 29, 2012 - The Tobacco Atlas, Fourth Edition, and its companion website, were unveiled today by the American Cancer Society and World Lung Foundation at the 15th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health. The Atlas graphically details the scale of the tobacco epidemic, progress that has been made in tobacco control, and the latest products and tactics being deployed by the highly profitable tobacco industry – such as the use of new media, trade litigation, and aggressive development of smokeless products.

Tobacco Industry Profits Greater Than Ever

According to The Tobacco Atlas, estimates of revenues from the global tobacco industry likely approach a half trillion U.S. dollars annually. In 2010, the combined profits of the six leading tobacco companies was U.S. $35.1 billion, equal to the combined profits of Coca-Cola, Microsoft, and McDonald’s in the same year. If Big Tobacco were a country, it would have a gross domestic product (GDP) of countries like Poland, Saudi Arabia, Sweden and Venezuela.

The Most Preventable Cause of Death

In 2011, according to The Tobacco Atlas, tobacco use killed almost 6 million people, with nearly 80% of these deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries. When considering 2010 deaths with tobacco industry revenue, the tobacco industry realizes almost $6,000 in profit for each death caused by tobacco.

If trends continue, one billion people will die from tobacco use and exposure during the 21st century – one person every six seconds. Globally, tobacco-related deaths have nearly tripled in the past decade, and tobacco is responsible for more than 15% of all male deaths and 7% of female deaths. Tobacco is also a risk factor for the four leading noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) – cancer, heart disease, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases – which account for more than 63% of global deaths according to the World Health Organization.

Tobacco use is the number one killer in China, causing 1.2 million deaths annually; this is expected to rise to 3.5 million deaths annually by the year 2030. Tobacco is also responsible for the greatest proportion of male deaths in Turkey (38%) and Kazakhstan (35%), and the greatest proportion of female deaths in the Maldives (25%) and the United States (23%).

Uniquely among cancer-causing agents, however, tobacco is a man-made problem that is completely preventable through proven public policies. Effective measures include tobacco taxes, advertising bans, smoke-free public places, mass media campaigns and effective health warnings. These cost-effective policies are among those included in the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), a global treaty endorsed by more than 174 countries, and recommended by the World Health Organization in its MPOWER policy package.

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Keywords: Reports | American Cancer Society | Cancer | Global Health | Volunteerism & Community Engagement | cancer rates | cigarettes | tobacco | tobacco deaths

CONTENT: Press Release