Smoking killed almost 5 million people around the world in 2000

Smoking killed almost 5 million people around the world in 2000, reveals research in Tobacco Control. Over half the deaths were in smokers aged 30 to 69.

The authors, from Harvard University and the University of Queensland, used detailed statistical analyses as well as population and mortality data to arrive at their figures.

The numbers of premature deaths were evenly split between the developed and developing world. But men were over three times as likely as women to die an early death as a direct result of smoking.

Three out of four smoking deaths in developed countries and more than eight out of 10 in developing countries were in men.

The leading cause of smoking related death was cardiovascular disease, which killed over 1 million people in the developed world and 670,000 in the developing one.

Lung cancer, the next biggest smoking killer in the developed world, sent over half a million people to an early grave.

Chronic obstructive airways disease (COPD), a collective term for inflammatory lung disease, such as bronchitis, killed more people in the developing world, accounting for 650,000 deaths.

In Eastern Europe and North America, smoking caused almost one in four deaths among people aged between 30 and 69.

And in developing countries, overall, 62% of deaths directly attributable to smoking were in people aged between 30 and 69, compared with around half in industrialised countries.

The overall increase in smoking around the world in the last quarter of the twentieth century accounts for one in 10 of all deaths among adults and almost one in five of those among men.

"As the hazards of smoking accumulate among those who began smoking in developing countries over the past few decades, coupled with shifting demographic and disease patterns, the health consequences of smoking?will continue to grow unless effective interventions and policies that curb and reduce smoking among [men] and prevent increases among [women] in these countries are implemented," conclude the authors.

Dr Majid Ezzati, Harvard School of Public Health, Population, and International Health, Boston Massachusetts, USA
Tel: +1 617 432 5722
Email: [email protected]
Dr Alan Lopez, School of Population Health, University of Queensland, Australia
Tel: + 61 7 336 555 90
Email: [email protected]


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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