Smoking Is Biggest Cause of Death

    February 09, 2009 09:08

    In 2010, smoking-related cancer will be the biggest killer of humans, according to a report released by the World Health Organization last December.

    The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) under the WHO has predicted the number of cancer patients worldwide will more than double to 27 million, 17 million of whom will die by 2030.

    In Korea, there was a total of 265,000 deaths nationwide in 1979, according to data released by the then Economic Planning Board. Of these, 522 people died from lung cancer, accounting for a mere 0.2 percent of the total.

    But, according to the National Statistical Office, of the 245,817 deaths in 2003, 12,725 resulted from lung cancer, a 24.4-fold increase compared with 1979. It is assumed that an increase in tobacco consumption contributed to the sharp rise in deaths from lung cancer.

    One report claims that smokers are typically lower earners than non-smokers. A survey of 8,900 Americans in their 20s between 1985 and 1998 found that non-smokers' average assets were 50 percent more than those who smoked less than a pack of cigarettes a day, and double the average of those who smoked more than a pack.

    With the medical, economic and social toll from smoking snowballing, countries around the world have been running a powerful anti-smoking campaign. Enterprises are more reluctant to hire smokers, who are generally presumed to spend about 30 minutes of daily work time smoking cigarettes.

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