According to the latest estimated from the Global Burden of Disease, a study published in “The Lancet” said that smoking causes more than one in 10 deaths worldwide, with 50% of these occurring in just 4 countries, China, India, US and Russia.
Over 11 percent of 6.4 million deaths worldwide was caused by smoking in 2015 and 52.2 percent of them took place in these 4 countries.
Deaths attributable to smoking increased by 4.7 percent in 2015 compared with 2005 and smoking was rated as a bigger burden for health.
“Moving from third to second highest cause of disability, the study said, “In 2015, 11.5 percent of global deaths (6.4 million)were attributable to smoking worldwide, of which 52.2 percent took place in four countries – China, India, the USA, andRussia),” the study said.
China, India and Indonesia, the three leading countries with male smokers, accounted for 51.4 percent of the world’s male smokers in 2015. India is among the top 10 countries together accounting for almost two-thirds of the world’s smokers (63.6%) in 2015.
The new estimates, based on smoking habits in 195 countries between 1990 and 2015, illustrate that smoking remains a leading risk factor for death and disability despite many countries applying tobacco policies resulting in reductions in smoking prevalence.
The study said that with growing and aging populations already heightening the burden of tobacco, it will be crucial to support more smokers in quitting and stopping people from starting to smoke.
“The USA, China and India, which were the leading three countries in a total number of female smokers, accounted for only 27.3 percent of the world’s female smokers,” it said.
Warning that the war against tobacco is far from won, the authors of the study argue that policy-makers need to be renewed and sustained efforts to tackle the epidemic.
“Despite more than half a century of unequivocal evidence of the harmful effects of tobacco on health, today, one in every four men in the world is a daily smoker,” said senior author Dr. Emmanuela Gakidou, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, USA. “Smoking remains the second largest risk factor for early death and disability, and so to further reduce its impact we must intensify tobacco control to further reduce smoking prevalence and attributable burden.”
Government estimates show in India over 5,500 youth start tobacco use every day, whereas around 35% of adults consume tobacco in some form or other. Over 25% of females start tobacco use before the age of 15 in the country.
While Indonesia, Bangladesh and the Philippines did not have significant reductions in male prevalence of daily smoking since 1990, the Philippines, Germany, and India had no significant decreases in smoking among women.