India among top 4 countries in death caused by smoking

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.”

Since the implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in 2005, many countries including India have applied tobacco policies resulting in reductions in smoking prevalence. Taking a strong position against consumption of tobacco products, the government here has imposed higher taxes as well as bigger pictorial warnings not just on cigarette packs but on all tobacco products.
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. Current tobacco smokers in India include 14.1% of adults, of which 24.3% are males and 2.9% females. Over 25% of females start tobacco use before the age of 15 in the country.Worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, smoking prevalence decreased by almost a third (29.4%) to 15.3% in 2015. At present, one in four men (25%) worldwide smoke, whereas one in 20 women (5.4%) are smokers. Despite these improvements, population growth has led to an increase in the overall number of smokers, increasing from 870.4 million in 1990 to 933.1 million in 2015.

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