Tobacco Atlas - 3rd edition launched at the Livestrong Global Cancer Summit, Dublin, Ireland..

August 26, 2009 - The Tobacco Atlas, 3rd Edition, Co-authors: Dr. Omar Shafey, Dr. Michael Eriksen, Dr. Hana Ross, Dr. Judith Mackay

The Tobacco Atlas, Third Edition, published by the American Cancer Society and World Lung Foundation, estimates that tobacco use kills some six million people each year- more than a third of whom will die from cancer- and drains US$500 billion annually from global economies. Unveiled at the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Summit, the Atlas graphically displays how tobacco is devastating both global health and economies, especially in middle- and low-resource countries, and tracks progress and outcomes in tobacco control. The Tobacco Atlas Online, 3rd Edition.. Lance Armstrong's comment after meeting Dr. Judith Mackay...

The Most Preventable Cause of Cancer

According to The Tobacco Atlas, 2.1 million cancer deaths per year will be attributable to tobacco by 2015. By 2030, 83% of these deaths will occur in low and middle-income countries. Unique among cancer-causing agents, the danger of tobacco is completely preventable through proven public policies. Major measures include tobacco taxes, advertising bans, smokefree public places, and effective health warnings on packages. These cost-effective policies are among those included in the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), a global treaty endorsed by more than 160 countries, and recommended by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) M-P-O-W-E-R (W=Warn) policy package.

A $500 Billion Hole in Global Economy

The global economy lost a staggering US$500 billion due to tobacco use. These economic costs come as a result of lost productivity, misused resources, missed opportunities for taxation, and premature death.

* Because 25 percent of smokers die and many more become ill during their most productive years, income loss devastates families and communities.
* 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.
* Tobacco replaces potential food production on almost 4 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 disproportionate sums of money relative to their incomes that could otherwise be spent on food, healthcare, and other necessities.

Burden Shift to the World's Poorest Countries

The Tobacco Atlas crystallizes an undeniable trend: the tobacco industry has shifted its marketing and sales efforts to countries that have less effective public health policies and fewer tobacco control resources in place:

* In 2010, 72 percent of those who die from tobacco related illnesses will be in low- and middle-income countries.
* Since 1960 global tobacco production has increased three-fold in low- and middle-resource countries while halving in high-resource countries.
* In Bangladesh alone, if the 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.

Reference: 2009 edition of the Tobacco Atlas catalogues catastrophic toll of tobacco worldwide,, 8/25/2009.

Related news brief: 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.

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