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Tobacco's Global Death March

R. T. Ravenholt
Population and Development Review
Vol. 16, No. 2 (Jun., 1990), pp. 213-240
Published by: Population Council
DOI: 10.2307/1971589
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1971589
Page Count: 28
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Tobacco's Global Death March
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Abstract

Native to the Americas, tobacco was during the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries disseminated throughout the world with little recognition of its pathogenic powers. But as cigarette smoking became the foremost addictive practice during this century, it generated such massive epidemics of lung cancer, coronary heart disease, and dozens of other diseases that tobacco was finally recognized to be the chief environmental hazard to health. In the United States during this century alone, the smoking of 26 trillion cigarettes, 556 billion cigars, and consumption of 25 billion pounds of "manufactured tobacco" has produced: more than 2.7 million deaths from lung cancer, more than 7 million deaths from cardiovascular disease, and more than 14 million deaths from all forms of tobaccosis. In the world, its population now smoking 5 trillion cigarettes annually and consuming millions of tons of tobacco in other forms, the tobacco death toll is probably at least 3 million annually and more than 50 million this century.

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