Lead author Gary A. Giovino of the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions said the study focused on 14 low- and middle-income countries -- Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Mexico, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay and Vietnam. The researchers made comparisons with the United States and the United Kingdom using data from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey. The nationally representative surveys were conducted from 2008 to 2010, through face-to-face interviews with 248,452 respondents.
Data on another 188,895 respondents from the United States and United Kingdom were also included.
The study, published in The Lancet found:
-- 49 percent of men and 11 percent of women in the countries used tobacco, smoked or smokeless, or both.
-- Although women's tobacco use rates remain low, women are beginning to smoke as early as men, around age 17 instead of in their 20s.
-- Tobacco is consumed in various ways -- chewing tobacco and snuff to waterpipes and hand-rolled bidis.
-- China had the highest number of tobacco users at 301 million, followed by India, with 274 million.
-- U.S. and U.K. quit ratios were highest followed by those in Brazil and Uruguay, where tobacco control activities are strongest, while the lowest quit rates were in China, India, Russia and Egypt.
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