Thursday May 24, 2018

One person dies every six seconds due to Tobacco: W.H.O.

Among smokers who are aware of the dangers of tobacco, most want to quit. Counseling and medication can more than double the chance that a smoker who tries to quit will succeed.

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One person dies every six seconds due to tobacco: World Health Organization
One person dies every six seconds due to tobacco: World Health Organization
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One person dies every six seconds due to tobacco: World Health Organization
Tobacco is a major killer worldwide. Smoking nicotine is linked to many diseases including cancers.

Tobacco Kills:An undisputed fact

Tobacco smoking has become a major single cause of cancer mortality [death] around the world.

According to a report by WHO, the tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, which kills nearly six million people a year. More than five million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while more than 600,000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.

Approximately one person dies every six seconds due to tobacco, accounting for one in 10 adult deaths. Up to half of current users will eventually die of a tobacco-related disease.

The report says, “Tobacco caused 100 million deaths in the 20th century. If current trends continue, it may cause one billion deaths in the 21st century.”

Unchecked, tobacco-related deaths will increase to more than eight million per year by 2030. More than 80% of those deaths will be in low-and middle-income countries, the report suggests.

However, despite the menace caused by tobacco consumption, only four countries, representing just over a third of the world’s population, monitor tobacco use by repeating nationally representative youth and adult surveys at least once every five years.

As per the report, studies show that few people understand the specific health risks of tobacco use. For example, a 2009 survey in China revealed that only 38% of smokers knew that smoking causes coronary heart disease and only 27% knew that it causes stroke.

Among smokers who are aware of the dangers of tobacco, most want to quit. Counseling and medication can more than double the chance that a smoker who tries to quit will succeed.

National comprehensive cessation services with full or partial cost-coverage are available to assist tobacco users to quit in only 21 countries, representing 15% of the world’s population.

-Prepared by NewsGram staff writer.

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Study Shows that Humans Are Influencing Cancer in Wild Animals

Besides indulging in cancer causing behaviour like smoking, poor diet and low hygiene, human beings are also changing the environment in such a way that it can lead to the deadly disease in many species of wild animals, researchers have warned.

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To study how obesity affects this defense mechanism, the team bred mice that were designed to express a known cancer-inducing mutant protein called Ras.
Representational Image, Pixabay

Besides indulging in cancer-causing behaviour like smoking, poor diet and low hygiene, human beings are also changing the environment in such a way that it can lead to the deadly disease in many species of wild animals, researchers have warned.

“Cancer has been found in all species where scientists have looked for it and human activities are known to strongly influence cancer rate in humans,” said Mathieu Giraudeau, postdoctoral student at the Arizona State University in the US.

“So, this human impact on wild environments might strongly influence the prevalence of cancer in wild populations with additional consequences on ecosystem functioning,” he added.

The study, published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution, pointed out many pathways including chemical and physical pollution in our oceans and waterways, accidental release of radiation into the atmosphere from nuclear plants, and the accumulation of microplastics in both land- and water-based environments, that show where human activities are already taking a toll on animals.

In addition, exposure to pesticides and herbicides on farmlands, artificial light pollution, loss of genetic diversity and animals eating human food are also known to cause health problems.

Other than chronic diseases, lifestyle habits like smoking causes cancer too. Pixabay
Other than chronic diseases, lifestyle habits like smoking causes cancer too. Pixabay

“We know that some viruses can cause cancer in humans by changing the environment that they live in — in their case, human cells — to make it more suitable for themselves,” explained Tuul Sepp, postdoctoral student at the varsity.

“Basically, we are doing the same thing. We are changing the environment to be more suitable for ourselves, while these changes are having a negative impact on many species on many different levels, including the probability of developing cancer,” Sepp added.

Even something such as artificial light and light pollution, as well as food meant for humans, are negatively affecting wild animals

Also Read: Lifestyle Habits That Affect Breast Cancer Risk

Ruling that “cancer in wild populations is a completely ignored topic”, the researchers have urgently called for studies on cancer and its causes in wild animal populations.

“We want to highlight the fact that our species can strongly influence the prevalence of cancer in many other species of our planet,” Giraudeau said. (IANS)

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