Magazine article The Futurist

Is the World Kicking the Cigarette Habit?

Magazine article The Futurist

Is the World Kicking the Cigarette Habit?

Article excerpt

Antismoking campaigns may be globalizing.

Cigarette use increased worldwide for a century but is now on the decline, according to Worldwatch Institute Chairman Lester R. Brown. Cigarette consumption in 1999 dropped by 8% in the United States and by more than 3% worldwide.

"In the United States, the number of cigarettes smoked per person has been falling for two decades, dropping from 2,810 in 1980 to 1,633 in 1999, a decline of 42%," notes Brown. "Worldwide, where the downturn lags that of the United States by roughly a decade, usage has dropped from the historical high of 1,027 cigarettes smoked per person in 1990 to 915 in 1999, a fall of 11%."

The falloff in cigarette consumption may not be enough to stop the growing death toll from smoking: Each year, about 4 million people around the world die prematurely due to smoking-related illnesses, and that number is predicted to soar to 10 million in 2030, according to the World Health Organization.

WHO Director Gro Harlem Brundtland calls tobacco a "communicated" disease--one communicated through advertising. But tobacco's foes have the same weapon at their disposal. …

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