(Reuters) – The tobacco industry makes $7,000 for each of the more than 6 million people who die each year from smoking-related illness, the health campaign group World Lung Foundation (WLF) said on Thursday.
Last year, more than 5.8 trillion cigarettes were smoked, similar to 2013, as rising tobacco use in China counters declines in other countries, according to a report on Thursday led by WLF.
In their global Tobacco Atlas, the WLF and the American Cancer Society said that in 2013, the last year for which detailed figures were available, tobacco industry profits were more than $44 billion. Meanwhile, 6.3 million people died from smoking-related illness, equivalent to a profit of $7,000 for each death caused by tobacco.
The report said that, if current trends continue, a billion people will die from smoking and exposure to tobacco this century.