Monday April 22, 2019

According To WHO, Smoking Is A major Cause Of Death And Disease

The WHO clinched a landmark treaty in 2005, now ratified by 180 countries, that calls for a ban on tobacco advertising and sponsorship, and taxes to discourage use.

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the world's leading killers
Tobacco vendors eye schools for sale: Study. Pixabay

Fewer people are smoking worldwide, especially women, but only one country in eight is on track to meet a target of reducing tobacco use significantly by 2025, the World Health Organization said Thursday.

Three million people die prematurely each year because of tobacco use that causes cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and stroke, the world’s leading killers, it said, marking World No Tobacco Day. They include 890,000 deaths through secondhand smoke exposure.

Douglas Bettcher, director of the WHO's prevention of noncommunicable diseases department.
The worldwide prevalence of tobacco smoking has decreased from 27 percent in 2000 to 20 percent in 2016, so progress has been made. Pixabay

The WHO clinched a landmark treaty in 2005, now ratified by 180 countries, that calls for a ban on tobacco advertising and sponsorship, and taxes to discourage use.

“The worldwide prevalence of tobacco smoking has decreased from 27 percent in 2000 to 20 percent in 2016, so progress has been made,” Douglas Bettcher, director of the WHO’s prevention of noncommunicable diseases department, told a news briefing.

Better pace in industrialized nations

Launching the WHO’s global report on trends in prevalence of tobacco smoking, he said that industrialized countries were making faster progress than developing countries.

“One of the major factors impeding low- and middle-income countries certainly is countries face resistance by a tobacco industry who wishes to replace clients who die by freely marketing their products and keeping prices affordable for young people,” he added.

Progress in kicking the habit is uneven, with the Americas the only region set to meet the target of a 30 percent reduction in tobacco use by 2025 compared with 2010, for both men and women, the WHO said.

African men are lagging.
Parts of Western Europe have reached a “standstill,” particularly because of a failure to get women to stop smoking. Pixabay

However, the United States is currently not on track, bogged down by litigation over warnings on cigarette packaging and lags in taxation, said Vinayak Prasad of the WHO’s tobacco control unit.

Parts of Western Europe have reached a “standstill,” particularly because of a failure to get women to stop smoking, African men are lagging, and tobacco use in the Middle East is actually set to increase, the WHO said.

Risk awareness

Overall, tobacco kills more than 7 million a year and many people know that it increases the risk of cancer, the WHO said. But many tobacco users in China and India are unaware of their increased risk of developing heart disease and stroke, making it urgent to step up awareness campaigns, it said.

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“The percentage of adults who do not believe smoking causes stroke are, for example, in China as high as 73 percent; for heart attacks, 61 percent of adults in China are not aware that smoking increases the risk,” Bettcher said. “We aim to close this gap.”

China and India have the highest numbers of smokers worldwide, accounting for 307 million and 106 million, respectively, of the world’s 1.1 billion adult smokers, followed by Indonesia with 74 million, WHO figures show. India also has 200 million of the world’s 367 million smokeless tobacco users. (VOA)

 

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Avoid Smoking During Pregnancy To Prevent Premature Births

The negative health impacts of cigarette smoking during pregnancy, including low birth weight, delayed intrauterine development, pre-term birth, infant mortality, and long-term developmental delays, are well known. 

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smoking
The researcher plans to look at quit rates and smoking intensity and their impact on the risk of infant mortality. Pixabay

Expecting mothers, take note. As smoking during pregnancy is linked with negative health outcomes, a team of researchers has found that smoking cessation during pregnancy may reduce the risk of pre-term birth.

The findings, published in the JAMA Network Open journal, showed that the probability of pre-term birth decreased with earlier smoking cessation in pregnancy — up to a 20 per cent relative decrease if cessation occurred at the beginning of pregnancy.

baby
If we determine quitting, and quitting early, reduces the risk of infant mortality, then that may speak to mothers even more saliently about the importance of smoking cessation. Pixabay

“Of concern, though, given the substantial benefits of smoking cessation during pregnancy is that the proportion of pre-pregnancy smokers who quit smoking during pregnancy has remained essentially stagnant since 2011,” said lead author Samir Soneji from The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice in the US.

For the study, the researchers conducted a cross-sectional study of more than 25 million pregnant women who gave birth to live neonates during a six-year period — measuring their smoking frequency three months prior to pregnancy and for each trimester during pregnancy.

The negative health impacts of cigarette smoking during pregnancy, including low birth weight, delayed intrauterine development, pre-term birth, infant mortality, and long-term developmental delays, are well known.

But the good news is that the proportion of women who start their pregnancy as smokers has been declining in recent years, the researchers said.

smoking

The findings, published in the JAMA Network Open journal, showed that the probability of pre-term birth decreased with earlier smoking cessation in pregnancy — up to a 20 per cent relative decrease if cessation occurred at the beginning of pregnancy. Pixabay

However, the study also found that only about 25 per cent of women who smoked prior to pregnancy were able to quit throughout their pregnancy, and approximately 50 per cent of women who smoked during their pregnancy did so with high frequency (more than 10 cigarettes per day).

The researcher plans to look at quit rates and smoking intensity and their impact on the risk of infant mortality.

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“Thankfully most premature babies end up doing well,” he said.

“But premature birth is strongly linked to infant mortality. If we determine quitting, and quitting early, reduces the risk of infant mortality, then that may speak to mothers even more saliently about the importance of smoking cessation,” he added. (IANS)