Tobacco Seen Killing 6 Six Million People Next Year

smokingWASHINGTON (Reuters) – Tobacco use will kill 6 million people next year from cancer, heart disease, emphysema and a range of other ills, global cancer experts said in a report issued on Tuesday.

The new Tobacco Atlas from the World Lung Foundation and the American Cancer Society estimates that tobacco use costs the global economy $500 billion a year in direct medical expenses, lost productivity and environmental harm.

“Tobacco’s total economic costs reduce national wealth in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) by as much as 3.6 percent,” the report reads.

“Tobacco accounts for one out of every 10 deaths worldwide and will claim 5.5 million lives this year alone,” the report said. If current trends hold, by 2020, the number will grow to an estimated 7 million and top 8 million by 2030.

Last week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on launched a tobacco center to oversee cigarettes and other related products, after winning the power to do so from Congress in June. On Tuesday it set up a committee of advisers to help guide it.

Over the past four decades, smoking rates have declined in rich countries like the United States, Britain and Japan while rising in much of the developing world, according to the nonprofit research and advocacy organizations.

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