India faces smoking death crisis
Jarrett Martineau | February 13, 2008 at 07:22 pmby
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One million people a year will die from tobacco smoking in India during the 2010s, research predicts.
The New England Journal of Medicine study found smoking already accounts for 900,000 deaths a year in India.
The study warns that without action, the death toll from smoking will climb still further.
It predicts smoking could soon account for 20% of all male deaths and 5% of all female deaths between the ages of 30 and 69.
The researchers have calculated that on average, men who smoke bidi - small hand-rolled cigarettes common in India - lose about six years of life.
Men who smoke full-size cigarettes shorten their lives by about ten years.
And for women bidi smokers the figure is about eight years.
I shudder to think how these figures might add up in a country like
China, where every man seems to be a smokestack, after the age of about
fifteen. China could soon have a similarly large health crisis on its hands, unless old habits are able to be broken.