Sad front-page story today in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) states, "Philip Morris Readies Global Tobacco Blitz." Tomorrow, the Altria board will likely vote to approve the long-awaited split between Philip Morris USA and Philip Morris International (PMI) , a move that will essentially allow PMI to become even more aggressive and profitable than its U.S. ties have allowed it to be. Apparently, new and bolder tobacco products are in the pipeline.
So, what are the predictions?
- A study by two researches at the World Health Organization published in 2006* gave an optimistic prediction of at least 7.4 million tobacco-attributable deaths EVERY YEAR by 2030. Their more pessimistic number rises to 9.7 million tobacco-attributable deaths EVERY YEAR by 2030. (For some perspective, in 2006, there were approximately 8 million people living in New York City).
- Between 2002 and 2030, deaths attributable to tobacco in high-income countries are predicted to decline by 9% while they are predicted to double in low and middle-income countries.
- By 2015 smoking will kill 50% more people in the world than HIV/AIDS
- By 2015, smoking will be responsible for 10% of all deaths globally
See this (http://www.who.int/tobacco/en/) for efforts being made by the World Health Organization to combat smoking, including the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.