LONDON - A billion people will die from tobacco use and exposure in this century. That's according to a new study by the World Lung Foundation (WLF), that says tobacco-related deaths have almost tripled in the past decade.
In a report out Wednesday, the says 50 million people died from tobacco in the last 10 years. It is considered the number one killer in China, estimated to cause more than a million deaths a year. That number is expected to triple by 2030.
The report also looked at who is affected the most by smoking and tobacco. It shows that about 80 percent of people who die from tobacco-related illnesses live in low to middle-income countries. For example, 38 percent of male deaths in Turkey are smoking-related.
The WLF is also pointing a finger at big tobacco companies, accusing them of undermining efforts to get people to quit smoking. The report says they have stepped up their fight against anti-tobacco policies such as launching legal challenges and seeking delays in issues like legislation banning smoking in public places.
There does seem to be a worldwide push to curb tobacco use. More than 170 countries have signed up to a World Health Organization-led convention committing them to cut smoking rates, limiting exposure to second-hand smoke, and curbing tobacco advertising and promotion.