New York: Smoking now kills seven million people a year – almost double the number recorded in 2000, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.
The astonishing figures show that tobacco use is now the leading cause of preventable deaths across the world.
Experts stress the death toll is only going to keep on rising without strict laws and regulations on cigarettes in developing countries, where 80 per cent of lives are lost due to smoking.
However, they claim hiking cigarette prices would help to combat the problem, encouraging people to give up the costly addiction. In a report released today, the UN agency said it is bracing itself for more than one billion tobacco-related deaths by the end of this century.
Despite decades of tobacco control policies, population growth has seen an increased number of smoker. Smoking remains the second largest risk factor for early death and disability, and so to further reduce its impact we must intensify tobacco control to further reduce smoking prevalence and attributable burden.