Welcome to the parents section of "smoke's no joke". We aim to arm you with all the information you need to tackle family smoking issues.

Worldwide impacts

Tobacco consumption has fallen considerably in developed nations over the past twenty years. Smoking in developed countries now accounts for around 29% of world tobacco consumption compared to 34% in 1998.

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By contrast, throughout developing nations, tobacco consumption increased from 66% to 71% over the same period.

The World Health Organisation estimates that 5.4 million people worldwide died from tobacco-related illness in 2006 but estimates that by 2030, this figure will rise to over 8 million.

Large multinational tobacco companies are largely responsible for the spread of smoking to developing nations where there is little regulation in place to raise awareness of the dangers posed by smoking, or to restrict the sale and consumption of tobacco products. Advertising is not banned in these countries and offers a desirable western lifestyle through smoking.


The production of tobacco contributes to sustained poverty in many countries. The tobacco companies pay very low prices to contracted local farmers for their crops and charge inflated prices for raw materials such as seed and pesticides.

  • Egypt – 10% of low-income household expenditure is spent on tobacco.
  • India – the homeless population spend more money on tobacco than on food.
  • China – smokers in the Minhang district spend 60% of their personal income on tobacco.
  • Bangladesh – a pack of 20 premium brand cigarettes costs the equivalent of 6 kilogrammes of rice. The nation could feed its 10.5 million malnourished if the expenditure on tobacco was re-directed to food.
  • Philippines – 20% of total household income is spent on tobacco.


The 'Framework Convention on Tobacco Control' came into effect in 2005. It is the first ever global health treaty and allows countries to enact comprehensive tobacco control legislation.

For more information please refer to the Environmental Effects section

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