More than one in 10 deaths globally was caused due to smoking in 2015 and over 50 percent of them took place in just four countries, one of which was India, a new study on Thursday said.
Over 11 percent of 6.4 million deaths worldwide was caused by smoking in 2015 and 52.2 percent of them took place in China, India, USA, and Russia, according to the latest estimates in the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study published in medical journal The Lancet.
Deaths attributable to smoking increased by 4.7 per cent in 2015 compared with 2005 and smoking was rated as a bigger burden on health moving from third to second highest cause of disability, the study said.
“In 2015, 11.5 percent of global deaths (6 4 million) were attributable to smoking worldwide, of which 52.2 percent took place in four countries – China, India, the USA, and Russia),” the study said.
“The USA, China and India, which were the leading three countries in a total number of female smokers, accounted for only 27 3 percent of the world’s female smokers,” it said.
While Indonesia, Bangladesh and the Philippines did not have significant reductions in the male prevalence of daily smoking since 1990, the Philippines, Germany, and India had no significant decreases in smoking among women. The authors of the study warned the war against tobacco is far from won, and argued that despite implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in 2005, policy makers need to make renewed and sustained efforts to tackle it.
Worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, smoking prevalence decreased by almost a third– from 29.4 per cent to 15.3 per cent– and presently one in four men (25 per cent) worldwide smoke, as do one in nearly 20 women (5.4 per cent).
The study said the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), is necessary and vital for creating policy environment for more effective tobacco control worldwide but in not enough to fully address each country’s tobacco-control needs.
The nations will need to both implement FCTC-stipulated measures and supplement such policies and programmes with strong enforcement and high rates of compliance, it said.
“For example, India, where 11.2 percent of the world’s smokers live, supplemented the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) with the creation of a National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP) in 2007.
“NTCP was created to strengthen implementation and enforcement of the various provisions of COTPA at the state and district level. It has been rolled out in phases and currently covers about 40 percent of all districts in India,” the study said.
Together they accounted for almost two-thirds of the world’s smokers (63.6 percent), the study said.
“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, and so to further reduce its impact we must intensify tobacco control (efforts),” said senior author Emmanuela Gakidou, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, USA.