Study: 8M lives lost to smoking globally

2021 05 28 15 48 5853 Cigarette Smoker Closeup 400

Nearly 8 million people worldwide died of smoking in 2019, with the vast majority of smokers picking up the habit in their 20s, according to a new report from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).

Using data from 3,625 nationally representative surveys, three studies published in Lancet and Lancet Public Health estimated smoking prevalence in 204 countries in men and women ages 15 and over, including age of initiation, associated diseases, and risks among current and former smokers. The studies also included data on the first analysis of global trends in chewing tobacco use.

wa 25% age-adjusted rate of use among men over the age of 15 in South Asia, according to a release.

The researchers noted persistently high rates of smoking among young people, with over half of countries worldwide showing no progress in reducing smoking among 15- to 24-year-olds. 89% of new smokers become addicted by age 25. Protecting young people from nicotine addiction during this critical window will be crucial to eliminate tobacco use among the next generation, the researchers suggested.

The IHME is an independent global health research center at the University of Washington, Seattle. The results were announced ahead of World No Tobacco Day on 31 May.

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