Science

Smoking Costs 6 Million Deaths, 1$ Trillion Expenses Annually; According To Reports

By Joana Verdeflor , Jan 13, 2017 09:45 PM EST
BERLIN - MARCH 22: A protester prepares a sign to illustrate the harmful effects of smoking outside the representation of the German state of Lower-Saxony March 22, 2007 in Berlin, Germany. The governors of Germany's 16 states were meeting inside to discuss a nation-wide ban on smoking in bars and restaurants. (Photo : Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Smoking kills- this is not a cliche for nothing. About 6 million people have died in a year because of smoking. In fact, sources report that $1 trillion have already been spent all over the world for health care and productivity loss.

Tobacco Regulations - Imposing Taxes On Tobacco Products

The World Health Organization and the U.S. National Cancer Institute propose that higher prices and taxes be implemented on tobacco products. In this way, billions of dollars and millions of lives can be saved. These tobacco-regulating policies can help reduce risks of cancer and heart disease. It will also boost financial strength for governments to alot for health and economic development.

"The economic impact of tobacco on countries and the general public is huge, as this new report shows," according to Dr. Oleg Chestnov, WHO Assistant Director-General For Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health.

Chestnov confirmed how the tobacco industry market and produce prematurely kill millions of people, drains household of finances (use up money that could have been used for education and food), and impose heavy costs on health care for families, communities, and countries.

If all countries raise excise taxes by 80 cents per pack of cigarette, annual tax revenues could increase by 47 percent or $140 billion globally. Report authors confirmed that these figures can raise cigarette retail prices to an average of 42 percent. This will lead to a 9 percent decline in smoking rates and 66 million less of adult smokers.

Impact Of Tobacco Use To Life And Economy Worldwide

Countries with more challenged economies are most burdened from tobacco use. To date, there are 1.1 billion smokers who are 15 years and above worldwide. 8 out of 10 of these smokers are in the low-income and middle-income countries, according to reports.

Research evidence "confirms that evidence-based tobacco control interventions make sense from an economic as well as a public health standpoint," according to report co-editor Frank Chaloupka. Chaloupka is a professor of economics at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Dr. Douglas Bettcher of WHO confirmed that the 700-page report dispelled tobacco industry claims that tobacco-control measures pose economic risks.

"This report shows how lives can be saved and economies can prosper when governments implement cost-effective, proven measures, like significantly increasing taxes and prices on tobacco products, and banning tobacco marketing and smoking in public," according to Bettcher, = Director for the Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases, WHO.

Tobacco Use Kills

Tobacco use is a major health threat. It is identified as one of the leading causes of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. These noncommunicable diseases have caused about 16 million premature deaths (70 years and below) worldwide annually, said Bettcher and his colleagues.

Tobacco regulation policies have been part of the major efforts in lowering premature deaths from noncommunicable diseases by one-third by 2030. "Progress is being made in controlling the global tobacco epidemic, but concerted efforts are needed to ensure progress is maintained or accelerated," the report emphasized. "Increasing tobacco use in some regions, and the potential for an increase in others threatens to undermine global progress in tobacco control."

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