Smoking will kill a third more people per year by 2030, and it costs the global economy more than $1 trillion per annum, a World Health Organisation study said Tuesday. Lucy Fielder reports.
Smoking will kill a third more people by 2030, rising from six to eight million deaths a year. That's according to a study published Tuesday by the World Health Organisation and the U.S. National Cancer Institute. Smoking is the biggest preventable cause of death globally, it said. The report also putting smoking's cost to the global economy at more than a trillion dollars per year - in health care expenses and lost productivity. That far outweighs revenue from tobacco taxes, which come in at about $269 billion annually. Governments often fear tobacco controls will damage the economy, so they fail to use the tools they have, the WHO said. It's calling for higher prices and taxes, marketing bans, smoke-free policies and graphic warning pictures on labels. Putting up tobacco taxes would also help countries fund more expensive anti-smoking schemes like mass media campaigns and treatments to stop people smoking, the WHO said. The report also highlighting global health inequality; most smokers - about 80 percent of them - living in poor or middle income countries. Smoking on the rise in those countries, even as it falls out of favour in richer corners of the globe.