Smoking causes more than one in 10 deaths worldwide (equivalent to 6.4 million deaths), with 50% of these occurring in just four countries – China, India, USA, and Russia, according to latest estimates from the Global Burden of Disease study published in The Lancet. India is also 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.
Warning that the war against tobacco is far from won, the authors of the study argue that policy-makers need 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.”