The Tobacco Epidemic

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Tobacco epidemic killed 100 million people worldwide in the 20th Century. Tobacco epidemic could kill 1 billion in the 21st century alone. Smoking is responsible for the death of one in ten adults worldwide (about 5 million deaths per year) and, if current smoking patterns continue, by 2030 the proportion will be one in six, about 10 million deaths per year (World bank, 1999). This means that about 500 million people alive today will eventually be killed by tobacco (Peto & et al, 1994).

Since the 1950s, more than 70,000 scientific articles have left no doubt that smoking is an extraordinarily important cause of premature mortality and disability around the world. In populations where cigarette smoking has been common for several decades, about 90% of cases of lung cancer, 15–20% of cases of other cancers, 75% of cases of chronic bronchitis and emphysema and 25% of deaths from cardiovascular diseases in those 35–69 years of age are attributable to tobacco. Studies have shown that half of all long-term smokers will die of a tobacco-related disease and, of these, half will die before the age of 65 (World bank, 1999).

The 2009 Global Adult Tobacco Survey estimates that adult smoking prevalence in the Philippines is 28.3%, which is equivalent to 17.3 million Filipinos aged 15 years old and over who are cigarette smokers. 47.7% (14.6 million) and 9.0% (2.8 million) of the 15 years old and over population are male and female smokers, respectively. The 2007 Global Youth Tobacco Survey also estimates that about 17% or 4 million Philippine youths aged 13-15 years are also current smokers. (Department of Health, 2010) It is predicted that tobacco will kill over 175 million worldwide between 2005 and the year 2030 (Mathers &...

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