A new report showed that smoking produces more than one of every ten deaths globally. The equivalent to 6.4 million deaths worldwide is thanks to tobacco usage, while nearly half of these demises happen in just four countries (the United States, Russia, India, and China). This four countries combined represent about 40 percent of the total human population.
This report was made based on the estimates of the Global Burden of Disease and was published in the medical journal Lancet this Wednesday. The study was performed analyzing the smoking habits present in almost 200 countries between the period from 1995 and 2015. The results showed that smoking is still one leading cause of death and disability worldwide, the researchers say.
The WHO anti-tobacco programs have worked but are not enough
The World Health Organization implemented the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control back in 2005 with great results in the following years. Most countries have applied the regulations successfully, and a reduction in the smoking rates was actually achieved.
However, the authors of the study stated that the war against tobacco is far from won, and needs to be fought actively now more than ever. Their suggestion is to update the policies implemented in the first WHO program to renew the concepts and fight the epidemic more efficiently.
The results of the before mentioned program were high as the rate of men who smoked cigarettes worldwide diminished from one every 3 to one every four people. On that issue, now one every 20 women smoke compared to one every 12 in 1995. Overall, the smoking prevalence dropped from 29.4% to 15.3% in 2015.
Even after all those improvements and thanks to the overall population growth, a number of smokers in the globe is higher than the one registered in 1990, going from 870.4 million to 933.1 million in 2015. Also, a number of deaths produced by smoking also showed a rise of 4.7 percent when compared to 2005 data and now moved to the second place among the leading causes of death in the world.
“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,” said senior author Dr. Emmanuela Gakidou from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.
Countries with highest smoking rates and no improvements at all
Among the leading countries with more smokers within its populations, there is China, India, Indonesia, USA, Russia, Bangladesh, Japan, Brazil, Germany and the Philippines. All of these countries combined represent almost two-thirds of the extensive amount of smokers.
Even when some countries like the United States and Germany have shown significant diminishments in their national smoking rates, other nations need to fight the epidemic better or different, authors say.
For example, countries like Indonesia, Bangladesh, and the Philippines have not had any significant reductions concerning their smoking rates in the past years. Even a developed country like Russia has presented a prevalence augment among female population of 4.6 percent.
The authors recommended that every country not only should take into consideration all the WHO policies but reinforce all the national actions against tobacco proliferation.