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Russia fourth largest smoking nation -- UN

Tobacco epidemic carried away 100 million human lives in the 20th century and today smoking causes the premature death of 5.4 million people.

Unless decisive measures are taken, the figure will go up to 8 million in 2030, says a report on the global tobacco epidemic that was published here Thursday.

Experts of the World Health Organization say more than two thirds of smokers live in ten countries – China, India, Indonesia, Russia, the U.S., Japan, Brazil, Bangladesh, Germany, and Turkey.

Russia is ahead of the U.S. in what concerns the number of smokers although it has a much smaller population.

The authors of the report call attention to the fact that death from tobacco can be fully prevented. Still, smoking is likely to cause 5 million deaths this year.

The latter figure is greater than the number of lethal cases caused by TB, AIDS and malaria taken together.

By 2030, the developing countries will account for more than 80% deaths from smoking and the epidemic is likely to hit the hardest the countries with fast-growing economies.

Apart from deaths and an increasing disease incidence, this will also bring about a decrease of labor productivity and a steep growth of spending for healthcare.


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