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Smoking may cause 40m excess TB deaths

Smoking could be responsible for up to 40 million "excess deaths" from tuberculosis (TB) by 2050, research claims.

The study, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), predicts that because smoking increases the risk of contracting TB, there will be 18 million more cases of the disease worldwide between 2010 and 2050.

Smokers are also more likely to die from TB, leading the researchers to claim smoking can "single-handedly undermine the Millennium Development Goal to reduce TB mortality by half between 1990 and 2015." 

The authors argue that "aggressively lowering the prevalence of tobacco smoking could reduce smoking attributable deaths from TB by 27 million by 2050".

According to the study's model the African, Eastern Mediterranean and Southeast Asian regions will experience the greatest increase in new TB cases attributable to smoking.

The research team, led by Dr Sanjay Basu from the University of California, used a mathematical model to determine the effect of smoking on future TB rates.

According to the study's model the African, Eastern Mediterranean and Southeast Asian regions will experience the greatest increase in new TB cases attributable to smoking.

BMJ

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

"Then....maybe we should all do something to stop cigarette companies promoting cigarettes in developing countries, ie, giving small packets away free etc and running roadside concerts run by cigarette companies with free packets. Countries like Africa already have TB widespread. We are
giving aid money so they can buy more cigarettes and die more of smoking-related illnesses. We need to stop this and send in real help in the way of trainers and free education so they can look after themselves which they could do perfectly well. Stop the cigarette promotion immediately. I have witnessed how it harms. Nurses and doctors need to start active measures against legislation. If not it will get worse as they need to go to developing countries as the West has largely stopped smoking, whereas countries like Africa have never smoked much at all. Until now" - Sally Mould, Gloucestershire

"As a specialised nutritionist I think that the government should legislate the companies producing tobacco for cigarette making by stopping to mix tobacco with others flavouring, and mixtures of different type of tobacco so they became less addictive and people who really wish to give up smoking for good have a chance to do so" - Rinaldo Brandolini, London