Tobacco companies have been stifled in the West by bans on advertising, anti-smoking laws and high taxes. But with lax regulations in emerging countries, tobacco giants have found a new generation of consumers.
Anti-smoking advocates say the industry is now targeting youth and women in nations where health education about the risks of smoking is relatively non-existent. To counter that, international laws are now being proposed to regulate how cigarettes are produced.
However, pro-tobacco groups say any attempts to control tobacco production could create an economic disaster in some developing nations by stripping millions of farmers off their livelihoods.
On Wednesday's Riz Khan we ask: At what point do the damaging health effects from smoking outweigh the financial gains of the global tobacco industry?
Joining the programme is anti-smoking activist Patrick Reynolds, the grandson of tobacco magnate R.J. Reynolds, and Antonio Abrunhosa, the chief executive of the International Tobacco Growers' Association.
This episode of Riz Khan aired from Wednesday, January 5, 2011.
Source: Al Jazeera