USC professor is co-author of largest tobacco use study
The worldâs largest study of tobacco use to date was published last month in the medical journal The Lancet and included Keck School of Medicine professor Jonathan Samet as an author.
Samet said the findings of this research project will serve as a benchmark for tracking tobacco use internationally.
âThe new Global Adult Tobacco Survey [GATS] data provide a picture of tobaccoÂ use globally and will be a benchmark for tracking the continuing epidemic ofÂ tobacco use,â Samet said in a press release. âHopefully, as GATS continues, it will document a decline in tobacco use resulting from global efforts to slow the epidemic.â
The GATS study surveyed more than 200,000 people from 14 middle- to low-income nations, such as Bangladesh, Russia, Mexico and Uraguay, and compared their tobacco use to those in the United States and United Kingdom. The study was designed by national and international health agencies to evaluate and improve anti-tobacco efforts.
The study found that, in GATS countries, about 49 percent of men and 11 percent of women surveyed used tobacco. While womenâs tobacco use is significantly lower, the study also found that women are starting to smoke at a younger age, around age 17 rather than in their mid-20âs.
The GATS study also found that China has the most tobacco users of any nation in the world, 301 million people, and India the second most, with with 274 million people.
The United States and UK have the highest amount of smokers quitting, and Brazil and Uruguay have the highest quit rate among GATS countries. China, India, Russia and Egypt have the lowest rate.
Lead author Gary Giovino, Â chair of the Department of Community Health and Health Behavior at the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions in New York, said more resources should be allocated to implement worldwide strategies such as the World Health Organizationâs MPOWER measures, which could be used to reduce demand for tobacco. He said that not doing so could have dire consequences.
âIn the absence of effective actions, about 1 billion people worldwide will die prematurely in the next century from tobacco use, and most of those deaths and the health care and economic costs that come with them will be borne by lower- and middle-income countries,â Giovino said.
Bloomberg Philanthropiesâ Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Brazilian and Indian governments funded the research.