Although recession has hit people's wallets worldwide, it did almost nothing to reduce tobacco use.

The third edition of The Tobacco Atlas, co-authored by Michael Eriksen, director of Georgia State University Institute of Public Health was launched at the 14th World Conference on Tobacco or Health this week. The atlas laid out a comprehensive picture of global tobacco use, regulations, financial costs and health tolls.

In this economic downturn, it is the products that give the most comfort in the midst of stress that sell very well and tobacco is no exception.

As people lose jobs, the affected may rely on affordable pleasures in these rough economic times. The trouble is they are relying on deadly pleasures.

Since the last 2006 edition of the atlas, changes in issues around global tobacco use have been a mixed bag. Positive changes include the relatively rapid ratification of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the world's first public health treaty developed by the World Health Organization.

The treaty obligates signatories to commit to actions such as advertising bans and indoor clean air laws to stem tobacco use, illness and death. Excluding the United States, 163 nations have ratified the treaty.

However, tobacco companies have since 2006 been able to adapt to changes, figure out how to work in a new regulatory environment, and continue to profit from a preventable cause of illness and death, to the tune of 30 billion dollars in profits.