死亡和烟草税

一个全球性致命物正在世界贫穷国家肆虐。在未来25年中,它将在一年时间内造成全世界一千万人死亡,超过霍乱、母死、儿童感染以及疟疾的总和。超过一半的死者年龄在30岁至69岁之间,早死大约25年。这一元凶就是烟草。成为西方国家中首要可防治死因的耽溺在发展中国家大行其道。吸烟在二十世纪造成一亿人死亡,大多数在发达国家。按照目前的趋势,吸烟将会在二十一世纪造成大约十亿人死亡,大多数在发展中国家。

在印度,吸烟造成男女死亡的风险超过肺结核的三倍,甚至造成肺结核的传播。在中国和印度每年大约一百万人死于吸烟。除非大规模戒烟,仅仅在这两个国家大约有一亿五千万年轻成年人死于吸烟。

但是过去的吸烟死亡并非一定是世界的将来。我们知道如何控制烟草使用。为了在未来几十年中降低吸烟死亡人数,现在需要十一亿人戒烟。降低儿童吸烟将会主要在2050年后挽救性命。戒烟是有成效的。即使那些在四十多岁戒烟的人也可以极大地降低死亡风险,而那些在三十多岁戒烟的人的死亡风险和终生不吸烟的人接近。

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