Tobacco—the growing epidemic

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Abstract

The largest study ever undertaken to examine the health effects of tobacco finds that there are already a million deaths a year from smoking in China, and it predicts large increases in mortality over the next few decades. This pattern is likely to be repeated in other developing countries.

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Figure 1: For the one million people who died between 1986 and 1988 in 24 cities (filled circles on map) and in various rural areas of China (open circles), the disease that caused death was determined and the family was interviewed to discover what the deceased person had smoked.
Figure 2: Death rates at ages 35–69 from lung cancer in various parts of China: smokers versus non–smokers (1986–1988).

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Acknowledgements

We thank the Chinese principal investigators1,2 and our funding organizations.

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