From my mate's email of her travels:
"[we] headed up country in Uganda to meet and interview tobacco farmers. It was a pretty depressing experience. Growing tobacco is an arduous, work-intensive business which is rife with child labour. We saw first hand the dangers it poses to the farmersâ€™ health and to the surrounding environment.
"As if this isn't bad enough, the companies who buy the tobacco have the farmers over a barrel. Each year they set the buying price and they decide how much of the crop they will buy. The farmers begin the year in debt to the tobacco companies because they are given loans to pay for seeds and pesticides and they are lucky if they manage to recoup enough money to break even. At the end of the harvest, the farmers have no choice but to sell to the same companies and hence are trapped in a cycle of debt and poverty.
"I really believe that no one with a conscience could continue smoking if they could see what I've seen and know the suffering tobacco causes."
Ho hum. Not that I'd stop if I was a smoker because I'm shit with addiction and I can't even give up my caffeine and chocolate...one of the reasons I never even tried smoking actually!
Oh well, something to think on. I'd never really considered it before...