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More smokers worldwide than in 1980: Study

Published on Jan 8, 2014 6:02 AM
 
A group of young smokers in Orchard Road. More people smoke worldwide today than in 1980, as population growth surges and cigarettes gain popularity in countries such as China, India and Russia, researchers said on Tuesday. -- ST FILE PHOTO: MUGILAN RAJASEGERAN

WASHINGTON (AFP) - More people smoke worldwide today than in 1980, as population growth surges and cigarettes gain popularity in countries such as China, India and Russia, researchers said on Tuesday.

For instance, China boasted nearly 100 million more smokers in 2012 than it had three decades ago, even though its smoking rate fell from 30 to 24 per cent in that span, said the findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The rise in the number of smokers comes despite overall declines in the smoking rate in recent decades, as many people have realized the health dangers of tobacco, said the report.

The data was published as part of a series of tobacco-related articles to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the first US Surgeon General's report on the risks of smoking.

 
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