Tobacco is consumed in the form of cigar and cigarette
snuff, pipes and chewed as such. It is grown as a valuable cash crop in India,
China, Cuba and United States.
tobacco is also used as a pesticide and as nicotine tartrate in medicines.
The most important
species N. tabacum is native to tropical America and N. rustica, a fast burning
and mild flavored species is grown chiefly in India, Russia and Turkey.
harmful alkaloids and polycyclic hydrocarbons such as benzpyrene, arsenic,
cadmium, nickel, etc. Tobacco consumption can lead to various lung and heart
diseases, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) and cancers of
mouth, larynx and pancreas. "The effects depend on the number of years that a
person smokes and on how much the person smokes. Starting smoking earlier in
life and smoking cigarettes higher in tartrate increases the risk of these
Nicotine has a
powerful addictive property and easy tolerance and dependence develops with
tobacco consumption. About 1.1 billion people use tobacco in some form or the
other. One-third of the adult population uses tobacco.
According to World
Health Organization, tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death globally
and annually tobacco is responsible for about 5.4 million deaths. In developing
nations rate of smoking is still rising.
In order to assess the
prevalence data for patterns of use of tobacco by adults and the factors
affecting this use, Gary Giovino et al analyzed the data from Global Adult
Tobacco Survey (GATS). The findings were published in The Lancet, August 2012.
The survey was
conducted between 1 October 2008 and 15 March, 2010 and involved individuals
aged 15 years and above in fourteen low-income and middle-income countries such
as Bangladesh, India, China, Brazil, Mexico, Ukraine, Vietnam, Uruguay, Russia,
Egypt, Philippines, Poland, Turkey and Thailand.
The survey revealed
that about 48.6 percent men and 11.3 percent women were tobacco users.
82 percent smokers
preferred manufactured cigarettes and smokeless tobacco and bidis were quite
prevalent in Bangladesh and India.
point that this survey showed was that women aged between 55 to 64 years
started smoking at an older age than their male counterparts.
Smoking quit rates
were very low in India, China, Russia, Bangladesh and Egypt,
The Global Adult
Tobacco Survey-GATS showed early beginning of smoking in women and high rates
of smoking in men. The smoking quit ratios are quite low. Further efforts are
required to promote cessation of the use of tobacco and to consequently lower
tobacco associated mortality and morbidity.
Tobacco use in 3 billion individuals from 16
countries: an analysis of nationally representative cross-sectional household
surveys; Gary Giovino et al; The Lancet, Volume 380, Issue 9842, Pages 668 -
679, 18 August 2012