Motley Fool: Shares That Burn

Christopher Columbus had no idea that he would cause a global epidemic when he brought back some “strange leaves” from the New World. But despite all the scientific evidence that tobacco not only kills its users but its non-users too through passive smoking, many people continue to smoke.

In fact, around one in three men in developed countries smoke. And in developing countries the proportion is even higher — around 50% of men are smokers. This equates to around one billion male smokers in the world. Interestingly, fewer women smoke. It is estimated that about 250 million women around the world are regular smokers. But significantly, there is a worrying trend that more women are taking up the habit in developing countries….

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