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Tobacco Atlas Shows Rising Smoking Rates In Developing Countries

The American Cancer Society and World Lung Foundation on Tuesday released their latest Tobacco Atlas, providing snapshots of the estimated impact of smoking on populations throughout the world, the Irish Medical Times writes (Cosgrave, 8/26).

The report calculates that “[t]obacco use kills an estimated six million people worldwide each year and drains $500 billion annually from the global economy in lost productivity, misused resources, and premature deaths,” HealthDay News/U.S. News & World Report writes (8/25).

Reuters writes: “Over the past four decades, smoking rates have declined in rich countries like the United States, Britain and Japan while rising in much of the developing world, according to the [American Cancer Society]” (Fox, 8/25).

“The Tobacco Atlas presents compelling evidence that the health burden [of tobacco use] is shifting from richer countries to their lower-resource counterparts,” Peter Baldini, chief executive officer of the World Lung Foundation, said in a news release. “This evidence clearly articulates the breathtaking scope and dimensions of the problem. It calls out to be used actively in strengthening the case for policy change” (8/25).