viernes, 17 de octubre de 2014 – 16 de Octubre de 2014 – Africa

Ebola may be in the headlines, but tobacco is another killer in Africa
Ebola is the biggest health story being reported from Africa at the moment, and rightly so. As the death toll climbs higher into the thousands, the virus is instilling into the global community a combination of urgency, outrage and need for action.

At the same time as Ebola grabs the headlines, another killer pandemic of tremendous significance continues to sweep the African continent relatively unnoticed. Tobacco kills one out of two long term users, or one person every six seconds. At current rates, it is set to kill 1bn globally (pdf) before 2100 – that’s more than 200,000 times the current number of Ebola deaths. Millions of those who die will be African.

It is a story of injustice and inequality. While transnational tobacco companies (TTCs) take home humungous profits, such as the £5.5bn UK-based British American Tobacco (BAT) pocketed in 2013, each year they leave more than half a trillion dollars (pdf) of economic damage in their wake, contribute to environmental degradation and compromise the health and sustainability of populations.

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