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Tobacco Use Kills 6 Million People Annually: Report
Date:8/25/2009

And costs the global economy $500 billion each year

TUESDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Tobacco use kills an estimated six million people worldwide each year and drains $500 billion annually from the global economy in lost productivity, misused resources, and premature deaths.

That assessment comes from The Tobacco Atlas, Third Edition, published by the American Cancer Society and the World Lung Foundation and released Tuesday at the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Summit in Dublin, Ireland.

What's more, illnesses and deaths from tobacco use are totally preventable through such "well-established public policies" as tobacco taxes, advertising bans, smoke-free public places, and health warnings on packages, the report said.

By 2015, an estimated 2.1 million cancer deaths annually will be caused by tobacco products. And by 2030, most of these deaths -- 83 percent -- will occur in poor and middle-income countries, the atlas reported.

In developing countries, smokers spend disproportionate sums of their income on tobacco products, money that could otherwise be spent on food, health care, and other necessities. And because 25 percent of smokers die and many more become ill during their most productive years, that loss of income wreaks havoc on families and communities, the report said.

The atlas also pointed to what it called an "undeniable trend" -- the tobacco industry has shifted its marketing and sales efforts to less-developed countries that have less effective public health policies and fewer tobacco-control resources.

In 2010, an estimated 72 percent of people who will die from tobacco-related illnesses will be from low- and middle-income countries. Since 1960, tobacco production worldwide has increased three-fold in low- and middle-income countries, while getting cut in half in wealthier nations, the report said.

Using Bangladesh as an example, the report said that if the
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