Apr 5, 2017

Study shows 1 billion people still smoke daily

Hundreds of millions of people have quit smoking in the past quarter century, but there are still a billion people smoking daily around the world, a new study in the Lancet shows.

Data: The Lancet , GBD 2015 Tobacco Collaborators; Map: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Why it matters: One in 10 deaths worldwide is now caused by smoking — half of them in just four countries (China, India, Russia and the U.S.) — and smoking-related deaths have gone up nearly 5 percent in the past 25 years as more smokers are now found in under-developed countries where healthcare delivery is limited. Despite serious efforts by the global public health community to stigmatize and delegitimize cigarette smoking over the past three decades, smoking continues to be a leading cause of death and disability around the world.

The good news: Smoking prevalence globally has fallen by nearly one-third since 1990. One in 12 women smoked then compared to one in 20 today, and smoking rates among American teenagers have plummeted in the past 20 years from a high of 36 percent in 1995 (at the advent of the Tobacco Wars) to nearly single digits today.

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Vape lobby again targets Trump

Trump during a White House session on youth vaping in November 2019. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The lobbying group Vapor Technology Association is targeting President Trump with a six-figure ad buy in Palm Beach County, Fla., opposing a national ban on flavored e-cigarettes, a VTA spokesperson confirmed to Axios.

Why it matters: As Trump weighs whether to move forward with a proposed ban designed to curb youth vaping, 54 people have died from lung injuries associated with e-cigarette use in 27 states and the District of Columbia as of Dec. 19, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Go deeperArrowDec 29, 2019

Why it was so hard for investors to lose money in 2019

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

2019 was the rare year when the simple investing strategy of targeting almost anything would have worked, the New York Times notes.

What happened: A series of interest rate cuts this year from the Federal Reserve — the first since the Great Recession — juiced the markets, making it a great time for investors.

Go deeperArrowDec 31, 2019

The decade of the very poor and the super rich

Data: The World Bank and World Poverty Clock. Note: 1999-2015 World Bank figures are incomplete in South Asia. 2016-2019 figures are World Poverty Clock projections. Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The 2010s may be remembered as the decade when the global 1% accumulated unfathomable wealth, but it was also perhaps the best decade ever for the world’s poorest people.

The big picture: The rate of extreme poverty around the world was cut in half over the past decade (15.7% in 2010 to 7.7% now), and all but eradicated in China.

Go deeperArrowDec 30, 2019