As to whether developing countries smoke more or less than the USA, surveys have consistently concluded that smoking in the USA has peaked is and now declining while in the developing world, smoking prevalence is on its way up. In both the developing and the developed world smoking is ordinarily five times higher among men than women. The gender disparity, however, declines with age as more young women (even those aged between 13 and 15) are now being attracted to join the club of smokers. The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that while smoking in countries like the USA will remain constantly on a downward trend, the situation will be quite different in the developing world. The organization predicts that between 1.5 and 1.9 billion people will be smokers by 2025, about 80 percent will be living in the developing world.
Several factors explain the current and future smoking trends in both developed and the developing world. First and foremost, surveys conclude that a lot of emphasis is placed on controlling smoking in the developed world. In developing countries, the tune is totally different; a lot of emphasis is placed on collecting tobacco related taxes than the emphasis placed on controlling the habit. WHO reports that developing countries collect up to 500 times in tobacco taxes compared to what is used in combating smoking.
Secondly, it has been found that the United States, and countries in the developed world, effectively control aggressive marketing campaigns launched by firms in the tobacco industry. These campaigns range from offline and online advertising to promotional activities carried out with an aim of influencing more people to begin smoking. The opposite is quite true in the transitional and developing economies. WHO concludes that tobacco corporations, some of which have higher capital base than some of the individual developing country’s gross domestic product (GDP), have the power to influence all forms of legislation that affect the local tobacco industry. It is because of this reason that the corporations have been able to lucratively promote sale of cigarettes even to girls aged between 13 and 15 years.
Besides putting in place measures to control sale and promotion of tobacco products, countries like the USA have put in place programs aimed at enlightening the masses on the dangers of tobacco smoking. It has been found that these forms of educational programs are more effective than introduction of stringent smoking policies and imposition of sales taxes that the developing world employs.
To sum up, we note that smoking prevalence is higher in developing countries than it is in developed countries like the US. A major factor that explains this disparity is the effort and funding directed towards controlling smoking. Another factor could be the explosion in US e-cigarette usage. Check out this E-Cigarette Brands Directory to see just how big smokeless cigarettes have become in America!