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Smokeless Tobacco Poses Global Health Burden

Greatest burden of smokeless tobacco-related disease found in South and Southeast Asia

can of chewing tobacco

FRIDAY, Sept. 11, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Smokeless tobacco (ST) is used across the globe and poses a major public health threat, according to a review published online Aug. 12 in BMC Medicine.

Kamran Siddiqi, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the University of York in the United Kingdom, and colleagues present the latest estimates of the global burden of disease (oral, pharyngeal, and esophageal cancers, and cardiovascular diseases in 127 countries) due to ST use based upon systematic literature reviews and updated analyses.

The researchers found that the highest rates of consumption were in South and Southeast Asia. The highest risk estimates for cancers were also in this region. At least 2.5 million disability adjusted life years (DALYs) and 90,791 lives were lost across the globe in 2017 due to oral, pharyngeal, and esophageal cancers resulting from ST. Over 6 million DALYs and 258,006 lives were lost from ischemic heart disease attributable to ST. Men had three-quarters of the ST-related disease burden. Geographically, the vast majority of the ST-related burden (>85 percent) was in South and Southeast Asia.

"In high-burden countries, ST use needs to be regulated through comprehensive implementation of the World Health Organization Framework Convention for Tobacco Control," the authors write.

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