Friday August 17, 2018

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
Three million people die prematurely each year because of tobacco use that causes cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and stroke. Pixabay
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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.

Read More: High BP Medicine May Help Treat Migraine

“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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Gaining Weight After Quitting Cigrattes, Still Better In the Long Run: Study

Regardless of the amount of weight gain, quitters always have a lower risk of dying'' prematurely.

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Compared with smokers, even quitters who gained the most weight had at least a 50 percent lower risk of dying prematurely from heart disease and other causes, a Harvard-led study has found. VOA

If you quit smoking cigrattes and gain weight, it may seem like you’re trading one set of health problems for another. But a new U.S. study finds you’re still better off in the long run.

Compared with smokers, even the quitters who gained the most weight had at least a 50 percent lower risk of dying prematurely from heart disease and other causes, the Harvard-led study found.

The study is impressive in its size and scope and should put to rest any myth that there are prohibitive weight-related health consequences to quitting cigarettes, said Dr. William Dietz, a public health expert at George Washington University.

“The paper makes pretty clear that your health improves, even if you gain weight,” said Dietz, who was not involved in the research. “I don’t think we knew that with the assurance that this paper provides.”

The New England Journal of Medicine published the study Wednesday. The journal also published a Swedish study that found quitting smoking seems to be the best thing diabetics can do to cut their risk of dying prematurely.

cigarette
Your health improves, even if you gain weight. Pixabay

10 pounds or more

The nicotine in cigarettes can suppress appetite and boost metabolism. Many smokers who quit and don’t step up their exercise find they eat more and gain weight — typically less than 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms), but in some cases three times that much.

A lot of weight gain is a cause of the most common form of diabetes, a disease in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal. Diabetes can lead to problems including blindness, nerve damage, heart and kidney disease, and poor blood flow to the legs and feet.

In the U.S. study, researchers tracked more than 170,000 men and women over roughly 20 years, looking at what they said in health questionnaires given every two years.

The people enrolled in the studies were all health professionals, and did not mirror current smokers in the general population, who are disproportionately low-income, less educated and more likely to smoke heavily.

The researchers checked which study participants quit smoking and followed whether they gained weight and developed diabetes, heart disease or other conditions.

Weight, Cigrattes
Quitters saw their risk of diabetes increase by 22 percent in the six years after they kicked the habit. Pixabay

Quitters saw their risk of diabetes increase by 22 percent in the six years after they kicked the habit. An editorial in the journal characterized it as “a mild elevation” in the diabetes risk.

Studies previously showed that people who quit have an elevated risk of developing diabetes, said Dr. Qi Sun, one the study’s authors. He is a researcher at the Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Also Read: Preventing Type 2 Diabetes With the Help of Weight Loss

But that risk doesn’t endure, and it never leads to a higher premature death rate than what smokers face, he said.

“Regardless of the amount of weight gain, quitters always have a lower risk of dying” prematurely, Sun said. (VOA)