Tobacco, public health scourge in China. The cigarette will cause twice as many deaths in 2030 than at present, with 2 million deaths, if no change comes by here, warns a study published Friday in the medical journal The Lancet . If the current trend continues, a young Chinese in three will die because of tobacco, says the international team – composed of researchers from Oxford (UK), Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and the Chinese Centre for Disease Control (CDC) – which signs this work. “Without rapid action, continuous and general against tobacco, China will face a huge number of premature deaths,” said one of the authors of the study, Professor Liming Li of the Academy of Medical Sciences Beijing.
Three times more deaths in 2050
According to projections for this work, the number of deaths due to tobacco will increase from one million in 2010 (of which 840,000 men), two million in 2030 and three million in 2050. By comparison, it is estimated that currently more than 6 million people die each year because of smoking. Regular smokers have a mortality rate twice as high as those who do not smoke with greatly increased risks of cancers and cardiovascular diseases. Tobacco deaths increased sharply in China between 1990 and 2010: currently about 20% of deaths among men aged 40-79 years are due to tobacco (against 10% in 1990), according to the study. Today “about two-thirds of Chinese young people take up smoking in early adulthood,” the researchers said. “Unless they stop, this study suggests that at least half of them will eventually be killed” by tobacco.
Few smoking women
The picture drawn by the researchers is not entirely black. Chinese women generally escape cigarette: the proportion of smokers was divided by ten between those born in 1930 and those born after the 60s Another reason for hope, more and more men are able to stop smoking: “The proportion of men who stopped smoking by choice increased appreciably in 15 years, rising from 3% in 1991 to 9% in 2006,” the study said. This study also confirms that the total stopping smoking even after years of practice, brings a huge benefit in terms of health (at least for those who did not develop a serious illness before the judgment).
The very late stop is very beneficial
The mortality of those who have stopped smoking for about ten years while they were still healthy, is identical to that of those who never smoked, the study notes. “Stop before the outbreak of a serious disease, is remarkably protective and more and more smokers stop on their own,” said the researchers. “With effective measures to encourage smoking cessation, the epidemic of premature deaths due to smoking could be halted and the trend could be reversed,” they say. They point out that a general reduction in smoking in China would be the most effective and economical measure to stem the tide of dead ahead.
In a separate commentary, also published by The Lancet , two American specialists Public Health Michael Eriksen and Jeffrey Koplan (Emory Global Health Institute – Atlanta) estimate that promote the stopping power of smoking among young adults and continue to “protect” women from cigarettes would “prevent millions of deaths.” They also stress the economic dependence of the Chinese state vis-à-vis tobacco remains a public monopoly and represents 7% of its revenue. The most populous country in the world, China is also the country that concentrates the largest number of smokers, with more than 300 million. An estimated one third of the cigarettes produced globally are smoked in this country.