About one in every 100 deaths worldwide each year is due to the smoke of snuff, causing over 600,000 deaths each year. About 165,000 of these deaths are among children, according to a study by the World Health Organization in Switzerland, which is published in the online edition of the journal ‘The Lancet’.
The researchers, led by Annette Prüss-Ustun, used data from 2004 of their analysis, since this was the last year with comprehensive data of the 192 countries studied. The estimates include both mortality and lost years of healthy life.
Worldwide, 40 percent of children, 33 percent of male nonsmokers and 35 percent of nonsmoking women exposed to tobacco snuff in 2004. It is estimated that this exposure has caused 379,000 deaths from heart disease scheme, 165,000 lower respiratory infections, asthma 36,900 and 21,400 lung cancer. 603,000 deaths could be attributed to tobacco snuff in 2004, representing 1 percent of global mortality.
47 percent of deaths from passive smoking were women, 28 percent of boys and 26 percent among men. Although mortality in children due to passive smoking was inclined to countries with low and middle income adult’s deaths spread to countries of all kinds.
According to the authors, two thirds of these deaths occur in Africa and South Asia. The exposure of children occurs probably in their homes. The combination of infectious diseases and snuff seems to be fatal to children in these regions and could thwart efforts to reduce the mortality rate for children less than 5 years.
The largest effects were found among women because 60 percent of them do not smoke, higher than that of men, as in Africa, some parts of America, the Eastern Mediterranean and Southeast Asia, women are at least 50 percent more likely to smoke.
The authors conclude that these deaths are in addition to the 5.1 million deaths attributable to active smoking to get the full effect of both types of exposure due to snuff. The sum thus amounts to 5.7 million deaths per year in 2004 as a result of snuff. The authors assume that smokers are not affected by passive smoking, if this were not so, the effects of smoke snuff would be 30 percent higher.