A new survey has revealed that India has most number of smokeless tobacco deaths. World witnesses more than a quarter of a million deaths every year, out of which India bears three-fourth of total number of deaths, according to the study that examined the-the impact of smokeless tobacco on global scale. Apart from so many deaths, the study found that health of more than million people gets affected because of chewing tobacco causing several diseases that shorten life.
“Nearly 85 percent of the total burden attributable to smokeless tobacco (SLT) use was in South-East Asia, with India alone accounting for 74 percent of the global burden, followed by Bangladesh (five percent),” said the study.
For the study, researchers analysed data from 113 countries. The study was based on the 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study and surveys including Global Adult Tobacco Survey. One of the study authors revealed that more than 62,000 people died 2010 due to diseases caused by smokeless tobacco including mouth cancer, pharynx cancer, etc. While more than 200,000 people died from heart disease caused by chewing tobacco,
Kamran Siddiqi, senior lecturer in epidemiology and public health at University of York in England, believes that there are possibilities that the figures are estimated and tobacco might killed many more people. Future studies might confirm the actual impact of tobacco on World.
The study authors acknowledged the fact that more study is needed, especially in countries where tobacco consumption rate is very high and data on health issues are not available. For this to accomplish, we need global effort from several agencies to come up and work together, said Siddiqi.
Study authors believe that standardised smoking and tobacco-related policies like regulating the production, composition, sale, labelling, packaging and marketing of smokeless tobacco products can cut short smoking and tobacco consumption in the world, saving many lives.
“There is a need to build on the insights obtained from efforts to reduce cigarette smoking and to investigate strategies to reduce the use of smokeless tobacco,” he noted.
The results appeared in the journal BMC Medicine.