Cigarette smoking responsible for 60,000 deaths annually

February 3, 2019

TEHRAN — Annually about 60,000 deaths linked with cigarette smoking occur in Iran, the Iranian Anti-Tobacco Association has announced.

90 percent of the lung cancers develop in people who either smoke cigarette or people exposed to second-hand smoke, the report added, ISNA news agency reported on Sunday. 

Smoking two cigarettes or any other tobacco products in an enclosed space can increase pollution level to 10 times above Tehran’s most polluted areas, the report warned. 

In Iran around 12 percent of the population aging 15 to 69 consume tobacco. Smokers spend 100 billion rials (nearly $2.4 million) on a daily basis on cigarettes and twice as much as the amount is spend on treatment of tobacco-related diseases annually. 

In mid-January Tehran University of Medical Sciences vice chancellor for social affairs Abdolrahman Rostamian said that tobacco use in Iran has increased by seven times over the past decade, growing from 2,000 tons to 15,000 tons. 

In most countries, tobacco duty rate is up to 75%, but in Iran it is only 20%. This is among the issues that the members of Iranian Parliament (Majlis) should pay special attention to, he highlighted.

World Health Organization (WHO) warns that tobacco kills up to half of its users. Tobacco kills more than 7 million people each year. More than 6 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 890 000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. Around 80% of the world's 1.1 billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries.

Studies show that few people understand the specific health risks of tobacco use. For example, a 2009 survey in China revealed that only 38% of smokers knew that smoking causes coronary heart disease and only 27% knew that it causes stroke.

Among smokers who are aware of the dangers of tobacco, most want to quit. Counselling and medication can more than double the chance that a smoker who tries to quit will succeed.

MQ/MG