Marlboro Man's Contract Likely To Be Renewed, Thanks To TPP

So what if Americans don't smoke as much as they once did, the Marlboro Man will have something to cheer, if his handlers get their way at the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade table. Tariffs currently imposed by developing TPP countries stand to fall to nothing, putting U.S. tobacco producers in an opportune position to inundate them with inexpensive cigarettes and an epidemic of smoking-related health woes.

U.S. representatives negotiating the secretive deal threaten to indirectly boost smoking rates in the developing world, despite decades of pushing public policies encouraging Americans to kick the habit.

The nation recently hit a new low smoking rate with less than 21 percent over 18 lighting up on a regular basis.

Said Greg Connolly, director of Harvard University's Center for Global Tobacco Control, to the Washington Post recently: "If those markets are transformed, you are going to see an epidemic of enormous proportions among those least prepared to pay for it ..."We’re basically turning around and siding with the actual agents of that disease, and enhancing their ability to claim a billion lives in a century."

The United States certainly has higher-value products and services than lung cancer to export aside from unaffordable oncologists.