A billion people can’t all be wrong, can they?

July 11, 2006 | By | 2 Replies More

According to the Associated press,

Tobacco alone is predicted to kill a billion people this century, 10 times the toll it took in the 20th century, if current trends hold.

This humongous number begs for a morbid illustration.  If you lined up the dead bodies of one billion dead smokers end to end, they would stretch from the Earth to the moon (which is 240,000 miles from the Earth) four times.

These statistics are worth keeping in mind for those times when someone argues that something must be OK because lots of other people are doing it.


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Category: American Culture, Health, Statistics

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (2)

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  1. Erich's Friend says:

    How far would all the cigarettes smoked by a billion people go if lined up end to end? or just the butts they throw out their car windows when i am biking?

    and what i really want to know is how much I am paying in health care costs because i subsidize all those idiots who smoke.

  2. Heather says:

    Anyone who argues that something is OK just because lots of other people are doing it certainly shouldn't be given any validity.

    I don't know if this prediction would hold true though. I think that possibly more young people are smoking (which is where this is coming from,) but it is common for younger smokers to quit at a fairly young age. I don't know any statistics, but I have personally seen this trend.

    Friend, next time someone throws a cigarette butt out while you are biking, throw the beer can on the ground at their car!

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