By Sam Chambers

In the 20th century tobacco use killed an estimated 100 million people — more than both world wars combined. Most of those smokers had no idea what they were doing to themselves. Tobacco’s deadliness was exposed more than 50 years ago but still one in five adults smokes. If this continues, tobacco use could kill a billion people this century as the population expands. The war on tobacco has been raging for decades in the most developed countries but has barely begun elsewhere. From 1980 to 2013, smoking rates in the Americas fell by almost two-thirds but by only about half as much in Africa and a third as much in the Middle East. The habit has actually gained popularity in China.

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