Support surges for smoking ban in tobacco country

It has also estimated that the prevalence of smoking in 2015 in India was 2.9 per cent among women and 17.5 per cent among men.

The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study by an international consortium of researchers has estimated that 6.4 million (64 lakh) people died worldwide in 2015 from causes attributable to smoking and 52 per cent of these deaths occurred in China, India, the U.S. and Russian Federation.

"Growth in the sheer number of daily smokers still outpaces the global decline in daily smoking rates, indicating the need to prevent more people from starting the tobacco habit and to encourage smokers to quit", senior study author Emmanuela Gakidou, a professor of global health at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, said in a statement.

In addition, the researchers link increases in female smoking prevalence since 1990 and consistently high levels of male smokers in Eastern Europe with the tobacco industry's targeting of the area in the 1990s - for instance, Russian Federation experienced a 56.2% increase in female smoking prevalence between 1990 and 2015 while male smoking prevalence in Latvia remained at a persistently high level, 37.3% in 1990 and 38.3% in 2015. What's more, about half of all male smokers can be found in just three countries: China, India, and Indonesia.

More than one in 10 deaths globally was caused due to smoking in 2015 and over 50 per cent of them took place in just four countries, one of which was India, a new study today said.

This fits with a more general trend the study found: Male smokers are most commonly found in middle-income countries, while women are more likely to be daily smokers if they live in the world's wealthiest countries.

The United States, for its part, has more female smokers than any other country, including the far more populous China and India.

Worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, smoking prevalence decreased by nearly a third (29.4 per cent) to 15.3 per cent in 2015. In contrast, Brazil, which has been a leader in tobacco control, showed one of the largest reductions in smoking prevalence for men and women between 1990 and 2015 - halving from 28.9 per cent to 12.6 per cent in men and 18.6 per cent to 8.2 per cent in women.

In Russia - where tobacco control policies were not put into place until 2014 - the per centage of women who smoke climbed by more than 4 per cent over the same period.

"NTCP was created to strengthen implementation andenforcement of the various provisions of COTPA at the stateand district level".

"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".

"Smoking remains the second largest risk factor for early death and disability" after high blood pressure, said senior author Emmanuela Gakidou from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, in the U.S. northwest.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

  • Joanne Flowers