"There are six trillion cigarettes smoked every year worldwide. This is enough to make a continuous chain from the Earth to the Sun and back with enough left over for several round trips to Mars," argues Robert Proctor, Professor of the History of Science at Stanford University.
This also translates to 360 million miles of cigarettes depositing 60,000 metric tons of soot, cyanide and radioactive polonium into the lungs of smokers.
Cigarettes persist because of the enormous power of the tobacco industry that has corrupted just about every major institution, but manipulation of science has been one of the chief ways that the tobacco industry has flexed its political muscle.
Their goal is to fight science with science by funding tobacco friendly research on a massive scale to create an illusion that the industry is doing the right thing and taking responsibility for human health when in fact it is mounting a gigantic confusion campaign.