NEW DELHI – Nearly 100 million people have died over the last 100 years due to smoking in India, says a new study published in the journal Current Science. Further, about 4.52 trillion cigarettes and 40.3 trillion beedis have been manufactured in 100 years, between 1910 and 2010 in India. The study has estimated about 100 million premature deaths in India, which is a result of smoking in the last 100 years, reported Shalini for CNN-IBN.
The study revealed that in the first 50 years between 1910 and 1960, more than 52.7 billion cigarettes and 5.5 trillion beedis were produced and smoked. Researchers think that these smokers by and large died in a span of the next 40-50 years.
However researchers have warned that the larger part of the epidemic is yet to happen. And this is because in the last 50 years (1960 to 2010) smoking rates have gone up four times and are estimated to cause a large number of deaths in the next 50 years.
Study Author Dr Nevin Wilson was quoted saying to IBN Live “Smoking is estimated to cause 78.8 million deaths till 2050.” While, another study author Dr PC Gupta said that if this continues, we will see more than 200 million deaths within this century.
Currently, India has 111 million smokers, but public health experts caution of a larger health epidemic among the 164 million Indian smokeless tobacco users. Gupta said gutka is known to cause 90 percent of all oral cancers and is responsible for the most number of young heart attacks.