Researchers link 4.83 million premature deaths to smoking

Sunday, November 28, 2004

November 29, 2004

Deaths from smoking continue to rise around the world, according to new research. Smoking was responsible for almost 5 million deaths worldwide in 2000, or about 12% of all deaths, according to new research. More than half the deaths were among smokers ages 30 to 69.

Researchers from the School of Population Health at the University of Queensland, Australia, used deaths from lung cancer as a measure of smoking deaths. The researchers attributed the use of coal for cooking and heating in poorly ventilated housing to explain most lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers.

They also estimated deaths from smoking because of other diseases, including throat cancers; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); and cardiovascular diseases.

The researchers found that of the 4.83 million premature deaths linked to smoking, 2.41 million were in developing countries, and 2.43 million were in industrialized countries. Men accounted for 3.84 million of those deaths.

The leading causes of death from smoking in industrialized countries were cardiovascular diseases, lung cancer and COPD. In developing countries, the leading causes of smoking deaths were from cardiovascular diseases, COPD and lung cancer.