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Avoidable Deaths from Smoking: A Global Perspective

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Abstract

On current consumption patterns, about 400 million adults worldwide will be killed by smoking between 2010 and 2050. Most of these deaths will occur among smokers currently alive. At least half will die at ages 30–69 years, losing decades of productive life. Smoking-attributable mortality has fallen sharply in high-income countries but will rise globally unless today’s smokers, most of whom live in low- and middle-income countries, quit smoking before or during middle age. The single most important intervention to raise cessation rates is a large increase in taxes. Tripling excise taxes on tobacco would raise cessation rates and deter smoking initiation. Higher taxes, regulations on smoking and information for consumers could avoid at least 115 million smoking deaths in the next few decades, including at least 25 million cancer deaths and 50 million vascular deaths.

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Correspondence to Prabhat Jha MD, DPhil.

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Jha, P. Avoidable Deaths from Smoking: A Global Perspective. Public Health Rev 33, 569–600 (2011) doi:10.1007/BF03391651

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Keywords

  • Tobacco control
  • global health
  • smoking
  • tobacco deaths
  • low-income countries
  • middle-income countries
  • cessation
  • economics
  • prices
  • information
  • regulation