NEXT DRAFT

Big Tobacco is still big, Don Jr is in trouble, and eight other stories you might have missed

1. Ash backwards

At the end of a scary movie, you’ll often see a seemingly defeated villain twitch a finger or open an eye, giving you the heads-up that they’ll be back (bigger and badder) in the sequel. As is the case with these left-for-dead villains, rumors of the death of the cigarette industry have been greatly exaggerated. Consider these numbers from the top 5 tobacco companies: “In 2016, they shipped 2.27tn cigarettes, more than 300 for every man, woman and child on the planet, racking up combined sales of $150bn. Their combined profits reached $35bn, allowing investors in those companies to receive dividends of $19bn.” Even in the US, where the percentage of folks who smoke has dropped, overall population growth has maintained a steady demand for cigarettes. From The Guardian: How big tobacco has survived death and taxes.

+ As laws (and reality) have set in across the western world, Cigarette sellers are repeating their old tricks in new markets. Threats, bullying, lawsuits: the tobacco industry’s dirty war for the African market.

+ “Actors are smoking more in popular movies in the US, with an increase of 72% in appearances of tobacco on screen between 2010 and 2016.”

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