Tobacco, the Killer

Tobacco was responsible for 1,20,000 death—84,000 men and 36,000 women—adults in 2010 in India, according to a paper published in The Lancet. Oral cancer is said to cause twice as many death as lung cancer. Which means those who chewed tobacco (pan  masala, zafrani patti etc) were more vulnerable to death. About 170 million Indians chewed tobacco and 120 million smoked, according to a 2009- 2010 survey. The tobacco-related cancers constitute about 30 per cent of the total mortality (3,95,000) from all  cancers in the same age group. Globally, smoking caused one million deaths in 2010 among people aged 30 to 69. Five per cent death among women  and 20 per cent among men were caused by smoking, according to a 2008 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Enhancing taxes is suggested to be the most effective measure to curb smoking. France tripled taxes between 1990 and 2005 and brought  the consumption to nearly half.

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