The recent study, led by researchers from Vanderbilt University, USA, looked at trends in tobacco use in China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and India, including a million participants. The meta-analysis of 20 cohort studies collected data on tobacco habits from adults above 35 years of age, and the results were published in JAMA Network Open.

If most smokers had to switch to vaping, an estimated 6.6 million lives would be saved over ten years, resulting in 86.7 million fewer life years lost due to smoking.

The researchers found that on average, 65.4% of men and 7.8% of women smoked tobacco in Asia, with the average age at which they started smoking being 22.8 years (22.1 years for men and 28.2 years for women).

Although the prevalence of smoking in women has remained relatively low in these countries when compared to Western countries, there was an increasing trend observed in rural China, Japan, and India. Interestingly, despite the lower smoking rates amongst Asian women, the  the rate of lung cancer amongst this sex was found to be higher than in Western women.

The study also found that smoking-associated mortality rates, including deaths caused by lung cancer have increased in all the countries. Tobacco smoking was associated with 12.5% of total deaths and 56.6% of lung cancer deaths in men born before 1920. “If the tobacco epidemic across Asian populations persists or grows steadily, most Asian countries will face the double burden of lung cancer attributable to both tobacco smoking and other background risk factors,” said the researchers.

Switching to Vaping Could Save Lives

Meanwhile, in line with findings from previous research, a recent study published on Annual Reviews has indicated that if endorsed and regulated sensibly, vaping could dramatically reduce the number of tobacco-related deaths.

The study titled Harm Minimization and Tobacco Control: Reframing Societal Views of Nicotine Use to Rapidly Save Lives, was conducted by a team of researchers led by Dr. David B. Abrams from New York University. The researchers analyzed current and past reports and data related to smoking, in order to uncover any relevant patterns and trends. The compiled data indicated that if most cigarette smokers had to switch to vaping, an estimated 6.6 million lives would be saved over ten years, resulting in 86.7 million fewer life years lost due to smoking.

Read Further: Research Matters

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