Tobacco control in India--Where are we now?

Type Journal Article - Delhi Psychiatry Journal
Title Tobacco control in India--Where are we now?
Volume 14
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
Tobacco use is a global pandemic and is the leading cause of preventable death, Around the world, nearly 5.4 million people every year die from lung cancer, heart disease and other illnesses. The WHO estimates that in the 21st century, about 1 billion people around the world, will die from smoking –ten times the number killed throughout the 20th century1 . Most of these deaths are in low-and middleincome countries. The gap in deaths between lowand middle-income countries and high-income countries is expected to widen further over the next several decades if we do nothing. If current trends persist, tobacco will kill more than 8 million people worldwide each year by the year 2030, with 80% of these premature deaths in low- and middleincome countries.2 This shift has been caused by low levels of public awareness and weak governance in stark contrast to strong legislative measures in developed countries1 . Each year tobacco use kills about1 million Indians.3 Bidi and cigarette smokers die 6 to 10 years earlier than their non-smoking counterparts.3 A distinguishing feature of tobacco – related morbidity in India is that the incidence of oral cancer exceeds that of lung cancer and is one of the highest in the world4 . If current trends continue tobacco will account for 13% of all deaths by 2020.5

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