Reporting on a survey of the reasons people say they smoke, a Philip Morris researcher said the reasons given fall into three categories: (a) as a narcotic, tranquillizer, or sedative, (b) at the beginning or end of a basic activity, and (c) automatic smoking behaviour. The researcher concluded, "it should be noted that there was scarcely any unprompted reference to smoking for taste or flavour, until it was suggested-and then everyone agreed that it was the major element in smoking satisfaction."
A 1993 report estimated 26% of Americans smoke, a great decline from 42% in 1965, the year following the surgeon general's first warning of the dangers of smoking. American cigarette consumption has been declining by an estimated 2 to 3% each year.
The November 1998 settlement between the US state attorneys general and the tobacco industry provided an important opportunity for state tobacco control coalitions to secure significant funding for tobacco control programmes.
Unless smoking behaviour changes, three decades from now premature deaths caused by tobacco in the developing world will exceed the expected deaths from AIDS, tuberculosis and complications of childbirth combined.