In the United States smoking rates among adults has decreased significantly over the last 50 years. The rest of the world however this is not always the case, with poorer countries statistically having higher rates. Part of the reason for that is the poorer countries have the least resources to educate and protect their citizens from the dangers of smoking. Resources such as money and ability to enact and enforce certain public health measures, are needed in part because tobacco companies normally put the country in question through enormous legal trouble in order to protect their brand's business. Countries must have the ability to enact public health laws favorable in their country to ensure its citizens are entitled to their basic human rights without the country fearing International law litigation.
The smoking rate in the United States in 1965 was 42% and has decreased to about 18% in 2013. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) This decrease can be attributed to a number of explanations, first are public health warnings placed on cigarettes. Starting in 1966 cigarette cartons had simple caution labels, gradually making its way to the capitalized and bolded Surgeon General's warning we have on today's cartons. (Required Warnings for Cigarette Packages and Advertisements) Another explanation for the decrease is the increase of restrictions placed on cigarette and tobacco use. The United States in the 1960's had very few restrictions on smoking, allowing it in places such as; office buildings, airplanes, restaurants, bars, and even schools. (Required Warnings for Cigarette Packages and Advertisements) Acts including, Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009, has helped decrease the smoking rate in the United States. It is because of this also that many Americans aren't able to recognize this as a problem because they don't realize many other countries around the world do not have such strict regulations.