Smoking is declining, says WHO report

GN Bureau | March 19, 2015


#smoking   #world health organisation   #WHO   #tobacco users   #tobacco  

Non-smoking is the new trend worldwide. Going by the new data released by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the number of non-smokers is increasing all over the world.

The report finds that in 2010, there were 3.9 billion non-smokers aged 15 years. This number is projected to rise to 5 billion by 2025 if the current pace of tobacco cessation continues.

In India alone, there were 111,856,400 tobacco smokers in 2010. This decreased to 101,399,700 tobacco smokers in 2015. The number is further expected to decline to 91,913,300 in 2020 and 83,514,000 in 2025.

In 2010, WHO estimated that about 24 per cent of men and about 3 per cent of women smoked in India. By 2025, WHO projects the rate to be approximately 15 per cent for men and 1 per cent for women.

According to WHO, this trend indicates that countries are making inroads. But greater action is needed to curb the tobacco epidemic if the global target to cut consumption by 30 per cent by 2025 so as to reduce premature death from NCDs is to be met.

The report was launched during the 16th World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH) which on March 18 in Abu Dhabi. The conference is focusing on tobacco control and non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

 As WHO predicts, tobacco caused 100 million deaths in the 20th century. If current trends continue, it may cause one billion deaths in the 21st century.


Key facts
 

  • Tobacco kills up to half of its users.
  • Tobacco kills nearly 6 million people each year. More than five million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while more than 600 000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. Unless urgent action is taken, the annual death toll could rise to more than eight million by 2030.
  • Nearly 80 per cent of the world's one billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries.



But second hand smoking also kills

Second-hand smoke is the smoke that fills restaurants, offices or other enclosed spaces when people burn tobacco products such as cigarettes, bidis and water pipes.
 

  • There are more than 4000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, of which at least 250 are known to be harmful and more than 50 are known to cause cancer.
  • There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke.
  • In infants, it causes sudden death. In pregnant women, it causes low birth weight.
  • Almost half of children regularly breathe air polluted by tobacco smoke in public places.


 

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