Exporting cancer to Africa

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With AIDS, malaria, and ebola to worry about, what’s a little emphysema? That’s the attitude of tobacco companies as they turn to Africa to console themselves for their loss of popularity in the First World.

Speakers at last week’s conference of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, held in Guinea, lamented the growth of yet another health risk on the continent, reports the PANAFRICAN NEWS AGENCY. One tobacco representative explained that because of other health crises in Burkina Faso (little things like an average life expectancy of 40 years and high infant mortality), “the health problems which some say are caused by cigarettes just won’t be a problem here,” presumably because most smokers there won’t live long enough to develop lung cancer.

Tobacco interests have been especially successful at recruiting new smokers. Fifty-three percent of 15-year-old male Algerians smoke, and the rate of increase in tobacco consuption in Africa, at 3.2 percent per year, is the highest in the world.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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