Smoking Will Kill A Third More People By 2030 Than It Does Now

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Cigarettes will kill a third more people by 2030 than it does now, the World Health Organization warns in a landmark new study.

Currently, smoking claims 6 million lives annually – mostly in low-income countries.

But despite a drop in tobacco sales in some countries, the new report compiled by 70 public health experts show global rates of smokers are rising, meaning that figure will likely jump to 8 million in little over a decade.

And they reveal the cost of tobacco deaths ($1 trillion a year) far outweighs revenues from tobacco taxes ($269 billion in 2013-2014).

‘Government fears that tobacco control will have an adverse economic impact are not justified by the evidence,’ the 688-page report, compiled with the U.S. National Cancer Institute, insists.

Currently, smoking claims 6 million lives annually - mostly in low-income countries. According to the World Health Organization, that will reach 8 million in little over a decade (stock image)

‘It [smoking]is responsible for likely over $1 trillion in health care costs and lost productivity each year.

‘The science is clear; the time for action is now.’

The authors warn economic costs are expected to continue to rise.

And although governments have the tools to reduce tobacco use and associated deaths, most have fallen far short of using those tools effectively, they claim.

In the US and the UK, the most significant decreases in smoking tobacco have come from the advent of e-cigarettes – though experts are divided on whether this is positive or negative.

More and more young people are choosing to smoking e-cigarettes (or marijuana) rather than lighting up cigarettes.

Studies have shown an overwhelming swing in opinion, with children seeing no point in the flavorless products, while attracted to flavored vaporizers.

‘Government fears that tobacco control will have an adverse economic impact are not justified by the evidence,’ the 688-page report, compiled with the U.S. National Cancer Institute, insists.

‘It [smoking]is responsible for likely over $1 trillion in health care costs and lost productivity each year.

‘The science is clear; the time for action is now.’

The authors warn economic costs are expected to continue to rise.

And although governments have the tools to reduce tobacco use and associated deaths, most have fallen far short of using those tools effectively, they claim.

In the US and the UK, the most significant decreases in smoking tobacco have come from the advent of e-cigarettes – though experts are divided on whether this is positive or negative.

More and more young people are choosing to smoking e-cigarettes (or marijuana) rather than lighting up cigarettes.

Studies have shown an overwhelming swing in opinion, with children seeing no point in the flavorless products, while attracted to flavored vaporizers.

Nonetheless, a vote on Election Day 2016 in four states (California, North Dakota, Missouri and Colorado) to raise the tax on cigarette packs and e-cigarettes flopped.

Only California backed the $2 increase per pack.

Health experts had hoped tastes for tobacco had fallen so much, a tobacco tax would pass easily, making it harder for smokers to keep up the habit.

WHO officials warn more has to be done for nation’s to place tight controls on the product.

Cheap and effective policies included hiking tobacco taxes and prices, comprehensive smoke-free policies, complete bans on tobacco company marketing, and prominent pictorial warning labels.

Tobacco taxes could also be used to fund more expensive interventions such as anti-tobacco mass media campaigns and support for cessation services and treatments, it said.

Governments spent less than $1 billion on tobacco control in 2013-2014, according to a WHO estimate.

Tobacco regulation meanwhile is reaching a crunch point because of a trade dispute brought by Cuba, Indonesia, Honduras and Dominican Republic against Australia’s stringent ‘plain packaging’ laws, which enforce standardised designs on tobacco products and ban distinctive logos and colourful branding.

The World Trade Organization is expected to rule on the complaint this year.

Australia’s policy is being closely watched by other countries that are considering similar policies, including Norway, Slovenia, Canada, Singapore, Belgium and South Africa, the study said.

 

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