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According to a recent study, smoking is responsible for 150 cases of cancer each day in the UK.
According to the study, although tobacco smoking reached its highest point at around 50% in the 1950s in both the UK and US, it has significantly decreased to approximately 13% in 2020-21 due to control measures. Despite this decline, the study also noted that the historically high rates of smoking continue to contribute to the burden of cancer in these countries.
According to Cancer Research UK, a study funded by the organization, countries with high levels of income such as the UK are expected to experience a 50 percent rise in cancer diagnoses in the next five decades. This statement was made on Wednesday.
The researchers urged members of Parliament to back the increase in the age at which tobacco products can be sold, as a crucial measure in achieving a generation free from smoking.
Ian Walker, executive director of policy and information at Cancer Research UK, stated that taking action against tobacco would have the greatest effect as it is responsible for causing 150 cases of cancer in the UK daily.
There are affordable methods available to prevent instances of cancer, which can ultimately save lives globally.
“The funding for tobacco control efforts is consistently inadequate. As a prominent figure in the field of global health, the UK government has the potential to make a considerable impact in addressing this issue,” stated Mr. Walker.
The research also uncovered that smoking tobacco leads to fatal cases of cancer in at least 1.3 million individuals across seven countries.
More than half of the world’s yearly cancer-related deaths are accounted for by the fatalities in the UK, US, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
The research examined the amount of time lost due to cancer and investigated if specific risk factors led to earlier deaths.
Scientists discovered that four avoidable risk factors have led to approximately two million deaths and over 30 million years of life lost annually.
The contributing factors include smoking, drinking alcohol, being overweight, and contracting human papillomavirus (HPV) infections.
The study discovered that smoking tobacco alone results in the loss of 20.8 million years of life.
The report also stated that there could be a five-fold increase in new cases of cancer, rising from 0.6 million to 3.1 million annually in low-income countries within the next 50 years.
Mr. Walker stated that these numbers are astonishing and demonstrate that by taking action on a worldwide level, millions of individuals could be spared from avoidable cancers.
Scientists also discovered variations between genders in the amount of fatalities caused by cancer.
The study found that men are more prone to lose years of life due to smoking and alcohol consumption, as these habits are more prevalent in men.
The research discovered that in China, India, and Russia, men had rates of years lost to smoking and alcohol that were up to nine times higher than women.
The findings were released in eClinicalMedicine and were conducted by scientists from King’s College London and Queen Mary University of London.