Nearly 8 million deaths from smoking worldwide in 2019 | Western lawyer

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There were nearly eight million smoking-related deaths in 2019, and 89% of new smokers were addicted by the age of 25, according to global data. The number of smokers worldwide increased to 1.1 billion in 2019, with smoking causing 7.7 million deaths – including one in five deaths among men worldwide. Researchers say the number of smokers around the world continues to rise and the still high smoking rates among young people are of particular concern. Since the vast majority of new smokers become addicted by the age of 25, protecting young people from nicotine addiction during this time will be crucial in eliminating smoking in the next generation, experts suggest. Using data from 3,625 nationally representative surveys, the three studies are published in The Lancet and The Lancet Public Health journals by the Global Burden of Disease collaboration. They provide global estimates of smoking prevalence in 204 countries among men and women aged 15 and over. This includes the age of initiation, associated diseases and risks in current and former smokers, as well as the first analysis of global trends in chewing tobacco consumption. Published ahead of World No Tobacco Day on May 31, the authors call on all countries to urgently adopt and implement a set of evidence-based policies to reduce the prevalence of smoking and prevent initiation at a young age. The researchers found that since 1990, the global prevalence of smoking among men has declined by 27.5% and by 37.7% among women. The 10 countries with the highest number of tobacco smokers in 2019 – accounting for almost two-thirds of the world’s tobacco smoker population – are China, India, Indonesia, United States, Russia, Bangladesh, Japan, Turkey, Vietnam and the Philippines. According to researchers, one in three tobacco smokers (341 million) lives in China. Researchers found that in 2019, smoking was associated with 1.7 million ischemic heart disease deaths and 1.6 million chronic obstructive pulmonary disease deaths. It has also been linked to 1.3 million deaths from cancer of the trachea, bronchi and lung, and nearly one million deaths from stroke. Previous studies suggested that at least one in two long-term smokers would die from causes directly related to smoking, and that smokers have an average life expectancy of 10 years less than that of non-smokers. The data also indicates that approximately 87% of smoking-attributable deaths occurred among current smokers. Only 6% of tobacco-related deaths worldwide have occurred in people who had quit smoking at least 15 years previously. Researchers say this highlights the importance of quitting smoking. In 2019, an estimated 155 million smokers between the ages of 15 and 24 were estimated to be 20.1% of young men and 5% of young women worldwide. Two-thirds (65.5%) of all current smokers started smoking when they were 20 years old, and 89% of smokers started when they were 25 years old. But globally, the prevalence of youth smoking declined between 1990 and 2019 in both young men (minus 32.9%) and young women (minus 37.6%). The authors note limitations in all three studies, including that the data on tobacco use are self-reported, the age of initiation may be subject to recall bias, and the health effects of smoking do not include not second-hand smoke. Australian Associated Press

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