Tobacco will be the biggest killer of this century, taking a billion people worldwide - 10 times the toll it took in the 20th century - if current trends continue, public health officials said Monday.
"In all of world history, this is the largest train wreck not waiting to happen," John Seffrin, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society, said at an International Union Against Cancer conference in Washington, DC, the Associated Press reported.
Two new reference guides, the newly revised Tobacco Atlas and the new Cancer Atlas, show that tobacco is responsible for one in five cancer deaths, or 1.4 million deaths a year. Adding in cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases related to tobacco use brings the yearly global death toll to nearly 5 million. That number is expected to increase as population rises, the experts said.
The guides project that 1.25 billion people smoke cigarettes and that more than half will die from the habit. Reducing tobacco use would have the single largest effect on worldwide cancer rates, health officials said. – (HealthDayNews)
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