Six million people worldwide will die from smoking-related illnesses next year, according to the annual Tobacco Atlas report from the American Cancer Society.
“Tobacco accounts for one out of every 10 deaths worldwide and will claim 5.5 million lives this year alone,” the study said, predicting that current trends indicate that tobacco-related deaths could top 8 million annually by 2030.
Reuters reported Aug. 25 that the report also estimated the annual cost of tobacco use to societies globally at $500 million, including healthcare expenses, decreased productivity, and harm to the environment. Researchers estimated that tobacco decreases the world's overall gross domestic product (GDP) by 3.6 percent.
“One hundred million people were killed by tobacco in the 20th century,” the report said. “Unless effective measures are implemented to prevent young people from smoking and to help current smokers quit, tobacco will kill 1 billion people in the 21st century.”
The Tobacco Atlas said that there are 1 billion male smokers worldwide and 250 million female smokers, and that tobacco kills one-third to one-half of those who smoke.