Tobacco Killed 50 Million People in Last Decade Worldwide, Health Groups Say

Fifty million people worldwide have died from tobacco-related causes over the past decade, according to a new report by the World Lung Foundation and the American Cancer Society. The groups estimate that if current trends continue, a billion people will die from tobacco use and exposure in this century.

The Tobacco Atlas notes smoking rates in the developed world are on the decline, while rates are climbing in poorer areas of the world. Last year, tobacco use resulted in the deaths of almost 6 million people worldwide, with almost 80 percent occurring in low- and middle-income countries. In China, tobacco is the number one killer, responsible for 1.2 million deaths per year, according to the atlas. That number is expected to grow to 3.5 million by 2030, Reuters reports.

The report said the tobacco industry has launched legal challenges to anti-tobacco policies such as plain cigarette packaging, laws banning smoking in public places, bans on advertising and health warnings on cigarette labels.

According to the report, the world’s six biggest tobacco firms made $35.1 billion in profits in 2010, an amount equal to the combined earnings of Coca-Cola, Microsoft and McDonald’s.

“The tobacco industry thrives on ignorance of the true harms of tobacco use and using misinformation to subvert health policies that could save millions,” Peter Baldini, Chief Executive Officer of the World Lung Foundation, said in a news release.

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    March 23, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    Dwayne is correct – if we were to use UNALTERED and ORGANIC tobacco leaves, especially if they are vaporized rather than smoked, will not harm you. I mean, let’s face it, smoke in the lungs cannot be a good idea, whether it’s tobacco, cannabis, heroin or your house burning down. This is also true of Coca Leaves and yes even the Poppy Plant – non addictive in their natualy state. It’s our loving, caring Pharmaceutical and Tobacco Industries keeping us in their trusting hands that is the problem. Lynne, you are also right. How this continues is asinine and meanwhile, cannabis, which has never caused a death – unless you’re arrested and beaten, or in the line of fire of the cartel,remains illegal. Money talks.

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    March 22, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Looking at these figures – why do we still allow tobacco companies to market and sell a substance that, when used as directed, does nothing else but addict and kill people. Over the decade, 13,699 people die EVERY DAY worldwide. If this was anything but this, we would not tolerate it. That is the equivalent of 30 jumbo jets crashing every day! It is more than alcohol, auto accidents, AIDS, suicides, homicides and illegal drug use deaths COMBINED.
    It costs billions of dollars in health care costs and billions more in lost productivity for employers when tobacco users are sick more often, take breaks from their jobs, use more health care because of tobacco.
    It is unconscionable to me that the tobacco industry continues to actively market these products to vulnerable populations – youth, women, minorities and underdeveloped countries simply to make money! Their own documents refer to this as “recruiting replacement smokers” for those who die or quit! How do these people sleep at night!
    And it is equally abominable that health insurance plans in the US, with the exception of Medicare and Medicaid, refuse to cover the cost of cessation counseling, based on a proven evidence-based model, to help the insured quit. Yet, they continue to pay for the enormous health care costs treating tobacco related diseases! What is wrong with that picture! Enough is enough!

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    March 22, 2012 at 6:39 AM

    tobacco in its natural form is not harmfull to you its what man puts in it to keep it from going stale is what is killing people all those unnatural cemicals that the FDA approves

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    March 22, 2012 at 6:31 AM

    And this surprises you why??? Anything mans hands touch and you ingest is not good for you

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