Tobacco Atlas: Tobacco kills 6M a year

Aug. 27, 2009 at 1:32 AM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- Tobacco use kills an estimated 6 million people annually and more than one-third of those people die from cancer, British and U.S. researchers say.

Hana Ross of the American Cancer Society, Dr. Judith Mackay of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of Edinburgh and London, Omar Shafey of Emory University and Michael Eriksen of the Institute of Public Health at Georgia State University are authors of the "Tobacco Atlas." The researchers say tobacco drains $500 billion annually from global economies as a result of lost productivity, misused resources, missed opportunities for taxation and premature death.

The consequences of tobacco use are preventable through proven public policies such as tobacco taxes, advertising bans, smoke-free public places and effective health warnings on packages, the researchers say.

The tobacco industry has shifted its marketing and sales efforts to countries that have less effective public health policies and fewer tobacco control resources in place, the researchers say.

In 2010, 72 percent of those who die from tobacco related illnesses will be in low- and middle-income countries, says "The Tobacco Atlas" (Third Edition), published by the American Cancer Society and World Lung Foundation.

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