by Pranay Lal
Tropical Medicine & International Health – Article first published online: 31 December 2012
From the 1940s to the 1990s, donors provided assistance to war-ravaged, newly liberated, famine-stricken countries in the hope of creating stable democracies. In tropical countries, tobacco cultivation was encouraged, even when the deleterious effects of smoking were becoming known in the developed world. Responsible and focused donor assistance is needed to help governments develop a robust tobacco control policy. But irresponsible transfers continue to do the opposite. Donors need to help governments take the tobacco epidemic head on. But first, donors need to detach themselves from the tobacco industry and discard the two-faced policy of reducing tobacco use at home while promoting it abroad.