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Since the first American explorers brought tobacco back to Europe at the turn of the 16th century, smoking has always been a first-world problem. The product may have been grown by slaves in the Americas, or farmers in Africa and Asia, but it was always marketed to a wealthy Euro-American audience.

Yet now Big Tobacco is shifting focus, driven by declining smoking rates in its core markets. New research shows the industry is ramping up production in Africa, attempting to exploit its growing wealth and lax tobacco regulation. [...]