Smoking and its side effects cost the world’s economies more than $1 trillion and kill about 6 million people each year — with deaths expected to rise by more than a third by 2030, according to a new report from the World Health Organization and the National Cancer Institute.
Those losses exceed annual global revenue from tobacco taxes, estimated to be $269 billion in 2013-14, according to the report released Tuesday. Of that, less than $1 billion was invested in tobacco control.
The massive study called smoking one of the largest causes of preventable premature death in the world. And unless countries around the world begin putting more tobacco control policies in place, it warned, the ballooning consequences will become not just a global public health issue but an economic issue.
“The tobacco industry produces and markets products that kill millions of people prematurely, rob households of finances that could have been used for food and education, and impose immense health care costs on families, communities and countries,” Oleg Chestnov, WHO’s assistant director-general for noncommunicable diseases and mental health, said in a statement.
More than 60 authors — physicians, public health experts, researchers and other scientists — contributed to the report, which was peer-reviewed by more than 70 reviewers.