Study Warns Indian Women against Smoking
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New Delhi, India
By Mudassir Rizwan
About 62 percent of Indian women who smoke, will die in their productive age as compared to 38 per cent of non-smokers, indicating that women smokers will lose about eight years of their life, says a new study.
The study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine and was conducted by Indian, British and Canadian scientists, said women smokers are at a much higher risk of getting respiratory, heart and tuberculosis diseases as compared to non–smokers.
“For both men and women, the risks of smoking are evident even before age 50. Around 15 percent of women smokers would die in the age of 30–49, as compared with seven percent of non–smokers”, China’s XINHUA news agency reported Friday quoted the lead author of the study Prabhat Jha.
“While women smoking is not as common as men smoking, we have found that smoking by women in urban areas is on the increase”, Jha said.
The study said that 20 percent of women smokers are at the risk of getting respiratory diseases as compared to 7 per cent who don’t smoke.
“It has been found that alcohol consumption affects women more in comparison to men. In the same manner, tobacco affects women more. Quitting smoking is the only way of living a long life”, Jha said.
About 12 per cent of women smokers are at the risk of dying of heart attack as compared to 7 percent of women non–smokers. While about 9 percent women smokers are under the threat of dying of tuberculosis, the figure is 3 percent for non-smokers, the study said.
About 66 per cent of men and 13 per cent of women who die of tuberculosis are smokers, said Jha, director of the Center for Global Health Research (CGHR), a research institute that is co–sponsored by St. Michael’s Hospital (Toronto) and University of Toronto.
Over half of the tobacco deaths occur in illiterate men or women and nearly 80 per cent occur in rural areas.
“Smoking does not just take away life, it takes away many years of good life”, Jha said.
“One in five of all male deaths and one in 20 of all female deaths in India in the 30–69 age group will be caused by smoking in the 2010s”, said the report.