Tobacco deaths a developing problem:Numbers in developing countries now equal to those in industrialized worldBy Alvin Powell Harvard News Office Tobacco's killing grounds are shifting to the developing world, as new research from the Harvard School of Public Health shows the number of tobacco-related deaths in developing nations in 2000 roughly equaled those in the industrialized world. The research, published in the Sept. 13 issue of the medical journal The Lancet, shows that global tobacco deaths were about 4.8 million in 2000, with about 2.4 million each in developing and industrialized nations. The study shows that for men, the shift has already occurred. About 2 million men died in developing nations in 2000 from smoking-related illnesses compared with 1.8 million male deaths in industrialized nations. "The bottom line is that tobacco at this point in time is no longer [just] a Western problem," said Harvard School of Public Health Assistant Professor Majid Ezzati, who conducted the research with University of Queensland Professor Alan Lopez.
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