Visualizing tobacco’s impact on children in China | 

Guest post by Katie Leach-Kemon, a policy translation specialist from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

January 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the US Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health, hailed as the first report to establish a definitive link between smoking and cancer and heart disease. Many academic journals, advocacy groups, and government officials around the United States are seizing the opportunity of the anniversary to assess progress made in curbing tobacco use globally and determine how much more work must be done.

This week, researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation published a study tracking smokers and cigarettes consumed from 1980 to 2012. They also launched an interactive data visualization tool, shown below, and a 5-minute video tutorial that allows you to explore the study’s findings at the global, regional, and country level.

China Tobacco

This week, we’ll focus on a major political and economic powerhouse who is also a key driver of global smoking rates – China. In 2012, the Chinese accounted for 29% of the world’s smokers. Watch the short video below to see how China stacks up in comparison to other countries in the world.

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Tobacco doesn’t have to kill 1 billion people this century | 

Adam Cohn

It is well known that tobacco is a killer.

The problem that was once concentrated among the rich countries has spread to low and middle-income countries. With more young people in these countries smoking cigarettes and growing populations, the number of global deaths caused by tobacco is going to increase.

Roughly 5 million people died from tobacco attributed deaths in 2010. That number will likely double in the coming decades, says Dr Prabhat Jha and Richard Peto in the New England Journal of Medicine. The good news is that millions of lives can be saved if action is taken in the next decade. Better yet, we already know how to keep people away from tobacco products.

Maintaining the status quo means tobacco will kill 1 billion people in the next century. Implementing known solutions today can avert 200 million of those deaths.
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