Tobacco Is the Biggest Mass Murderer in the World, Will Kill 8.4 Million by 2022: Study


A recent study has suggested that tobacco is the biggest global mass murderer, as it will cause at least 8.4 million deaths by the year 2022. The world today has a stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, which are bound to annihilate life on this planet, if they are ever used. Many a times, one hears and reads that we are walking on a razor’s edge, and one slip could be the end of human civilization. The rise in militancy and extremism all over the world, the number of rogue nations flaunting their missiles, and other nuclear devices, is horrendous to say the least.

The study has revealed that tobacco is bound to leave behind the most powerful of nuclear and hydrogen bombs. According to the research, the rise in use of tobacco will result in it being the biggest mass murderer in the world, as it will kill 8.4 million people across the world by 2022. Health experts have said that a massive 70 percent of these deaths will take place in nations in the developing world like India, China, Brazil, South Africa, among others.

TobaccoChanges in lifestyles due to growing job markets and increasing disposable income because of growing economies, is seen as the reason behind spike in the number of smokers. Increase of stress in people’s daily lives is also another major reason. There has been a growth of astounding 20 percent in the number of women smokers as well. It has been pointed out that diseases related to tobacco use, are the most important reason causing deaths which are considered preventable.

Sudhir Khandelwal, who heads the psychiatric department in one of India’s most reputed medical colleges and hospitals, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), spoke about the alarming trend and increase in tobacco consumption. He is also the chief of AIIMS National Drug Dependence Treatment Center. Khandelwal said that in India, up to 50 percent of cancer cases are related to tobacco consumption. He also shared that the misconceptions and myths related to its effects on the human body, are the main reasons why people begin consuming tobacco. This slowly gets those people addicted and eventually, ends up ruining their lives.

Khandelwal noted that these myths are the main reason behind teenagers, and youngsters getting attracted to consuming tobacco in many ways including smoking. He claimed that people were not completely aware about its harmful effects. He said that he has come across many individuals who wrongly believe that there would be no damage if they consumed less amount of tobacco.

TobaccoKhandelwal said that every single form of tobacco consumption like cigarette smoking, sheesha, beetle-nut leaves, etc. causes exactly the same kind of damage which results from chewing tobacco. He emphasized on the fact that it is addictive, and regular consumption of smaller quantities as well, will certainly get people addicted over a period of time. He also said that any young person enduring second-hand smoke or consuming it in some kind of indirect form as well, was highly likely to take up tobacco consumption.

The Global Youth Tobacco Survey, which is studying this particular assassin, mentioned that the percentage of students who started smoking bidis, before turning 10-years-old has gone up to 45 percent from 26 percent. An additional professor in the psychiatric department, Sonali Jhanjee, said that the younger age of initiation is a disturbing reality. It makes the chances of the person getting addicted very high. This eventually causes great long term damage to the person’s health.

Jhanjee said that India has around 275 million tobacco users presently. Its consumption is responsible for a quarter of all cases of cancer in women and 50 percent of cancer cases in men. She added that the predominance of tobacco chewing is the cause behind India recording one of the highest rates of oral cancer cases in the world. It also causes other dental ailments like periodontal, tooth loss, and dental caries. She said that addiction to tobacco has now been recognized as a chronic illness in India. The study conducted recently, has suggested that tobacco is the biggest global mass murderer, and it will cause at least 8.4 million deaths by 2022.

By Ankur Sinha

The Times Of India-Tobacco set to kill 8.4 million people in 2022
News Informer-Tobacco set to kill 8.4 million people in 2022
The Kashmir Monitor-Tobacco set to kill 8.4 million people in 2022

Photo Courtesy of Owen Young’s Flickr Page-Creative Commons License

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