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Cigarette causes 351,000 deaths a year in Latin America: study

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Cigarette causes 351,000 deaths a year in Latin America: study

Cigarette consumption causes 351,000 deaths per year in eight Latin American countries, in addition to demanding costs of almost 50,000 million dollars annually associated with the care of diseases caused by smokingaccording to a study released this Monday.

The research, led by the Institute for Clinical and Health Effectiveness (IECS), in Buenos Airesin collaboration with research centers, universities and public institutions from various countries, was carried out in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador and Chile, countries that represent 80% of the population of Latin America and the Caribbean .

According to the study, 351,000 deaths per year are attributable to smoking in those eight countries, representing 12.4% of all deaths in adults over 35 years of age.

Likewise, the research group determined that smoking causes 2.2 million cases of illness per year, among others, 130,000 cases of cancer and 899,000 cardiovascular events.

“Despite the fact that in recent decades there has been a relative decline in the proportion of people who smoke, smoking continues to be an epidemic that makes people sick and kills. In fact, every day in our region, almost 1,000 people die from this cause We cannot stay with our arms crossed”, warned the general director of the IECS, Andrés Pichon-Riviere.

The research also found that in the eight countries included in the study, the costs that smoking poses to health systems and the economy, including direct health care costs for the diseases it causes, lost work productivity and family care, amounts to a regional total of 49.8 billion dollars.

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One of the components is the direct costs of 22.8 billion dollars in medical care for the diseases caused by smoking, which means that up to 1 out of every 10 dollars allocated to health in the countries’ budgets is used to alleviate the consequences of smoking. smoking.

According to the study, the total annual cost in the region exceeds by more than ten times the average collection in the countries for tobacco taxes.

According to the researchers, if this tax were increased and other measures were adopted to discourage tobacco consumption, such as the imposition of smoke-free environments, in the next 10 years close to 300,000 deaths could be avoided and US$ 90,000 million cut in costs. costs associated with smoking.

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