Third Edition Tobacco Atlas..

PLEASE NOTE: Actually at this time (March 16, 2009) The Tobacco Atlas, 3rd Edition, was in revision. The files presented were in draft form only. Actual launch of Tobacco Atlas, 3rd Edition, August 25. 2009..

March 16, 2009 - The third edition of the "Tobacco Atlas" was released by India's Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss on the second day of the 14th World Conference on Tobacco or Health, Mumbai, India, March 8-12, 2009. (The conference, which has been organized every three years since the mid-1960s, gathers tobacco control researchers, activists and leaders. More than 2,000 delegates from across the world attended the conference at the National Centre for Performing Arts in Mumbai.) The American Cancer Society and the World Lung Foundation have jointly published the third edition of the "Tobacco Atlas"; the first edition was published in 2002 and second in 2006.

John R. Seffin, CEO of American Cancer Society (ACS), said the atlas was crucial to understanding the nature of the most preventable global health epidemic. We can utilise the information in the atlas to develop public health strategies and reduce tobacco use. We will save millions of lives."

Peter Baldini, chief executive officer of World Lung Foundation (WLF): The third edition of the document outlining the devastating impact of tobacco on global health and economies also provides vivid evidence that the health burden on account of tobacco use is shifting from high-income countries to their low and middle-income counterparts.

From the Atlas:

Tobacco use is expected to kill six million people worldwide and drain $500 billion from the global economy each year. In 2010, tobacco will kill six million people worldwide annually, 72 percent of whom will be in the low and middle income countries," says the atlas, which is a comprehensive volume of research on how the tobacco is devastating both global health and economies.

Tobacco's estimated $500 billion drain on the world economy exceeds the total combined annual expenditure on health in all low and middle income countries."

Ramadoss described the report as a "glaring piece of information to control tobacco menace across world. The rest of the world has to join the developing countries to get rid of tobacco problem."

According to the atlas, the tobacco industry has shifted its marketing and sales efforts to countries that have less effective public health policies and fewer resources in place.

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

In India and China, over half a billion people are consuming tobacco.

In developing countries, smokers spend great sums of money in proportion to their incomes that could otherwise be spent on food, healthcare and other necessities."
In Bangladesh, if an average household bought food with the money normally spent on tobacco, more than 10 million people would no longer suffer from malnutrition and 350 children under age five could be saved each day, the report said.

In 2006, about 600 billion smuggled cigarettes made it to the market, representing an enormous missed tax opportunity for the governments.

At a time when food shortages are worrying experts, tobacco replaces potential food production on almost four million hectares (metric area measurement, one hectare equal to about 2.471 Acres or 107,637 square feet) of agricultural land, equal to all of the orange groves or banana plantations in the world, the report says.

To try to get a free copy of the atlas..

Tobacco Atlas Online..

Reference: Tobacco will annually kill six million people: Report, The Hindu, 3/9/2009.