"Tobacco is the only legal drug that kills many of its users when used exactly as intended by manufacturers," WHO.
Junk food consumption coupled with sedentary lifestyle is triggering a host of ailments in people all across the world. Smoking and tobacco consumption is another factor to push the number of premature deaths up. Statistics estimate close to 6 million premature deaths triggered due to tobacco consumption across the world. Another 6 lakh die on the account of second-hand exposure to cigarette smoke. In the year 2015, one in every 10 people died of smoking.
Tobacco consumption and smoking is tied to a host of ailments ranging from chronic non-communicable diseases to even communicable ones such as cancer, respiratory diseases, heart diseases, stroke, et cetera. "Smoking also increases risk for tuberculosis, certain eye diseases, and problems of the immune system, including rheumatoid arthritis." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US. Oral cancer is one of the primary outcomes of an increased and prolonged consumption of tobacco. Excessive smoking can also result in the development of lung cancer and other respiratory ailments.
WHO worked the experts from the University of Newcastle, Australia and the University of Tokyo to assess and monitor trends in tobacco smoking. This report was published in The Lancet and, "contains country specific estimates for four indicators: current and daily tobacco smoking and current and daily cigarette smoking, for males and females for the years 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015, 2020 and 2025," WHO.
The study suggests 50% of smoking-induced deaths to occur collectively in four countries - India, China, Russia and America. Unfortunately, India also finds a spot among the top 10 countries that together account for close to two-thirds (63.6%) of the total smokers in the world. The 10 countries with the largest number of smokers in 2015 were China, India, Indonesia, USA, Russia, Bangladesh, Japan, Brazil, Germany and the Philippines."In 2015, 11·5 per cent of global deaths (6·4 million) were attributable to smoking worldwide, of which 52·2 per cent took place in four countries - China, India, the USA, and Russia)," the study said.
Countries all across the world have taken measures to curb the rise in the number of premature deaths induced by tobacco and smoking - from imposition of higher taxes to bigger pictorial warnings on tobacco products. The Global Adult Tobacco Survey released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, shows most of the country having more than 30% of the population consuming tobacco. "Current tobacco use in any form: 34.6% of adults; 47.9% man and 20.3% females.
"If the 194 WHO Member States collectively achieved a 30% reduction from the 2010 level of 22.1%, they would be expected to reach a prevalence level of 15.4% in 2025. At this stage, it is projected that the prevalence level in 2025 will be 18.9%, or 3.5 percentage points above the target. This would represent a 14% relative reduction overall," WHO.Images: GATS, India via WHO