‘Tobacco drains $500 bn from global economy per year’

Over 27 per cent of Indians smoke tobacco in one form or the other (beedi,cigarette,etc),says the third edition of Tobacco Atlas released online on Saturday.....

Written by Teena Thacker | New Delhi | Published:March 8, 2009 1:36 am

Over 27 per cent of Indians smoke tobacco in one form or the other (beedi,cigarette,etc),says the third edition of Tobacco Atlas released online on Saturday.

Published by the World Lung Foundation and the American Cancer Society,the Atlas portrays a comprehensive volume of research on tobacco.

According to the Atlas,tobacco drains $500 billion from global economy each year.

“Cigarettes are the world’s most widely smuggled legal consumer product. In 2006,about 600 billion smuggled cigarettes made it to the market,representing an enormous missed tax opportunity for governments,as well as a missed opportunity to prevent many people from starting to smoke and encourage others to quit,” says the report.

A 10 per cent increase in cigarette prices reduces demand by up to five per cent among adults,with even better results among young smokers.

According to the report,tobacco replaces potential food production on almost four million hectares of the world’s agricultural land,equal to all of the world’s orange groves or banana plantations.

In developing countries,smokers spend great amount of money in proportion to their incomes that could otherwise be spent on food,healthcare and other necessities.

As per the report,in 2010,tobacco will kill six million people worldwide annually,72 per cent of whom will be in low and middle-income countries.

Since 1960,global tobacco production has increased 300 per cent in low and middle-resource countries,while dropping more than 50 per cent in high-resource countries.

“In Bangladesh alone,if the average household buys food with the money normally spent on tobacco,more than 10 million people would no longer suffer from malnutrition and 350 children under the age of five would be saved each day,” says the report.

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