Smoking killed 100 million Indians in the last 100 years

Smoking killed 100 million Indians in the last 100 years

The biggest cause of death in India over the last 100 years is simply tobacco.

What did the research uncover?

  1. Nearly 45 trillion bidis and cigarettes manufactured over the past 100 years in the country are expected to be responsible for nearly 100 million deaths of adult Indians,
  2. Since it takes three to four decades for a smoker to die after he starts smoking, the current tobacco use was expected to cause far more deaths in the coming decades
  3. The larger part of the epidemic is yet to occur because in the last 50 years, from 1960 to 2010, smoking rates went up four times - and these are estimated to cause a large number of deaths in the next 50 years

“Smoking is estimated to cause 78.8 million Indian deaths till 2050”
Study Author Dr Nevin Wilson.

“If this continues, we will see more than 200 million deaths within this century”
Study Author Dr. PC Gupta.

“Our calculations are derived from using the most conservative estimates and yet present mortality estimates which are significant and alarming.  For the consumption in the last four decades, the mortality will occur in near future.  Since the bulk of manufacturing and consumption occurred in the latter part of the last century, the early deaths of these smokers will happen in the first half of this century.  So in effect, if we were to cease all production and consumption in 2010, deaths would continue to take place.  Less than one-fourth of the deaths from 100 year of smoking (from 1910-2010) have already taken place, and the three-fourths of the deaths will take place in the next 40 years”
Pranay G Lal, Nevin C Wilson and Prakash C Gupta, Healis-Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health, Navi Mumbai.

Study by Pranay G Lal, Nevin C Wilson and Prakash C Gupta as published in Current Science, 2012.  They reviewed 23 data sources including industry reports, trade and academic journals, paid internet databases, repositories and reports prepared by market research firms from 1910-2010.  This gave them the total bidis produced and used in India using data from the Ministry of Agriculture.  These numbers were compared with 14 other sources.  As reported by CNN-IBN and The Indian Express on Sunday November 25, 2012.


Posted: Sunday 6 October 2013