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How Large Is the Tobacco Industry?

Annual global tobacco sales total about $661 billion US Dollars (USD), more than 90 percent of which comes from cigarette sales. About 7 million tons of tobacco are grown and harvested every year. China and the United States are the world's largest consumers of tobacco, China making up more than 20 percent of tobacco sales and the U.S. accounting for about 13 percent.

More facts about the tobacco industry:

  • Marlboro remains one of the most recognized cigarette brands, and the Marlboro portfolio accounts for about one-third of the global tobacco industry. Other big tobacco brands include L&M, with about a 10 percent share, and Philip Morris, with about a 4 percent share. More than 120 billion Marlboro cigarettes are sold each year in the U.S.

  • Europeans are statistically heavy tobacco users, with the European Union accounting for about one-fifth of global tobacco usage. Within Europe, Italians and Germans use the most tobacco.

  • According to the medical journal The Lancet, tobacco is the third-most addictive recreational drug, just after heroin and cocaine. That makes tobacco more addictive than street methadone, amphetamines or ecstasy.

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