How many people smoke in the UK

Smoking - an expensive vice in the UK

Around a third of adults worldwide smoke

Around a third of adults worldwide smoke, that is around 1.1 billion people. There are 2.3 million smokers in Austria. It is estimated that 16 to 17 billion cigarettes are consumed in Austria each year. Austria Tabak, which covers more than 90 percent of the market, sold almost 15.3 billion pieces last year.

Tobacco business is a billion dollar industry

The tobacco business is a billion dollar industry. In first place is China - also the largest tobacco producer - with an estimated 1,600 billion cigarettes sold, ahead of the USA with 422 billion, Japan with 326 and Russia with 280 billion smoldering sticks. These figures relate to 2001 and are based on estimates by Tobacco Journal International. The world's largest corporations are Philip Morris, British American Tobacco, Japan Tobacco, Imperial Reynolds and the Gallaher Group, the parent company of Austria Tabak, which had a turnover of around 8.4 billion pounds (11.88 billion euros) in 2002. Gallaher also manufactures the "Benson & Hedges" brand, which has now also been found to be counterfeit.

In an international comparison, Great Britain is not only in the top group when it comes to cigarette prices, but also when it comes to preventing tobacco advertising. In October last year, the House of Commons passed a law banning cigarette advertising, unanimously.

James Bond returned to the Pleasure Nebula

And of all people, James Bond, Her Majesty's secret agent, returned the following month after 13 years of abstinence in his new film "Die Another Day" to enjoy the blue haze. The fact that Pierce Brosnan can be seen smoking a cigar was even worth reporting in the Sunday Times.

Another James, namely King James I, who ruled in England, had railed against smoking as a new "bad habit" from America in 1616 in a handwritten flyer. Smoking had become popular in England through the navigator Sir Walter Raleigh (1554-1618). Even Queen Elisabeth let him teach her how to use a pipe and tamper. Her successor James I, the militant non-smoker, had Raleigh beheaded. (APA)