6 Million Deaths From Tobacco

Global death figures from smoking top 6 million (80% were from low- and middle-income countries, according to new research from health lobby campaigners) as Revenues from global tobacco sales are estimated to be close to £316bn.

British American Tobacco and Imperial are two of the biggest companies. Whilst BAT sells very few cigarettes in the UK, it is a big player in many emerging economies. In Turkey it sells Viceroy and Pall Mall brands; its Kent cigarettes are big sellers in Russia, while Gold Flake and John Player Gold Leaf are popular in Pakistan. Rothmans in Nigeria and Kent and Montana in Iran are also important for BAT. India, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Iraq, Egypt and Yemen are also promising markets for the company. 

A British American Tobacco spokesperson said: "There is constant speculation that we're breaking into emerging markets to avoid regulation. But this is not true. We didn't invent smoking, nor 'export' it anywhere, and we have been in many of these developing markets for hundreds of years – in the case of Africa, India and Brazil, since the early 1900s.
"As disposable income grows around the world, particularly in developing countries, more smokers are upgrading to premium brands rather than low quality local alternatives – and this doesn't just apply to cigarettes."
Health lobby campaigners produced a study regarding tobacco which identified it as the No 1 killer in China, where smoking is said to cause 1.2 million deaths annually. It is also blamed for more than a third of male deaths in Kazakhstan and in Turkey – other major smoking nations.