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Global Tobacco Use Remains High, Survey Finds
Date:8/17/2012

FRIDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Because pro-tobacco forces often overshadow less well-funded tobacco-control strategies, global tobacco use remains high, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, according to the world's largest study on tobacco use.

The research, published Aug. 17 in the journal The Lancet, revealed that more resources are needed to fully implement tobacco-control strategies to educate people about the harmful effects of tobacco products and help them quit smoking.

"Our data reflect industry efforts to promote tobacco use," lead study author Gary Giovino, chairman of the department of community health and health behavior at the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions, said in a university news release. "These include marketing and mass media campaigns by companies that make smoking seem glamorous, especially for women. The industry's marketing efforts also equate tobacco use with Western themes, such as freedom and gender equality."

"Governments around the world need to start giving economic and regulatory advantages to agricultural products that promote health instead of to products like tobacco that kill people," Giovino added.

The study involved 14 low- and middle-income countries involved in the Global Adult Tobacco Survey. Specifically, the researchers focused on Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Mexico, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay and Vietnam. From 2008 to 2010, more than 248,000 people from these countries were interviewed in person on their tobacco use.

The interviews were compared to nearly 189,000 surveys conducted in the United States and the United Kingdom.

The investigators found that 49 percent of men and 11 percent of women in the Global Adult Tobacco Survey countries smoked or used smokeless tobacco. Although rates of smoking among women from these countries remained l
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