Smoking as a cause of death

Deaths from smoking show a time lag of about 30 to 40 years from the onset of regular smoking. As a result, differing patterns of smoking-related deaths are currently seen in men and women and in the developed and developing worlds. In the United Kingdom, male deaths from smoking are now declining, while in women deaths are increasing and will continue to do so for some years, despite prevalence peaking in the early 1970s. (3)

As at 1995, an estimated 2 million people (1.5 million men and 500 000 women) in developed countries were dying each year from tobacco. About 25 per cent of all male deaths, and 9 per cent of female deaths, in developed countries are currently due to smoking. Smoking-related deaths in the developing world, at present about 1 million per year, are certain to increase sharply in the next two decades. Total deaths worldwide from smoking are estimated to increase to 10 million per year by about 2025. Most of these deaths will be in the developing world.(4)

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