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25,000 die from smoking every year in Kazakhstan

01 june 2011, 14:22
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©AFP
©AFP
25 thousand people die from smoking annually in Kazakhstan, Tengrinews.kz reports citing the press-conference in Astana timed to the World No Tobacco Day.

“As per the World Health Organization, over 5 million people die from diseases caused by tobacco. In Kazakhstan the most employable population of the country - men of 30-55 and women of 20-45 - fall victims to the tobacco epidemics. Over 25 thousand Kazakhstan citizens die from smoking every year,” according to the press-conference.

As per the statistics, over 27 percent of citizens (4.2 million people) smoke in Kazakhstan. Experts call it a tobacco epidemics and a direct result of activities of tobacco companies, their aggressive marketing and advertisement of cigarettes.

The Ministry of Public Health has registered an increase in the number of oncological diseases. The leader is men's lungs cancer, but its occurence in women has also increased. The level of cardiovascular diseases increased 2.2 times between 1997and 2007.

Recently Central Asia became one of the major target regions for international tobacco industry. Increase in tobacco consumption in Kazakhstan made 4 percent in three years. “Doubling of the population's incomes in the last ten years, investments of international tobacco companies into local production, large-scale marketing by producers, weak awareness of the population and limited state interference significantly contributed to this overwhelming growth. Despite of the proved harmfulness of tobacco many Kazakhstan citizens keep or start smoking,” the press-conference's participants noted.

Kazakhstan Ministry of Public Health gave numbers showing growth of tobacco consumption in the country. In 1997 per capita consumption of tobacco products was 348 units per year. In 2000 it doubled to 666 cigarettes a year per capita. Analysts note that tobacco companies were especially "sucessful" in 2001. Back then the per capita number made 1,305 cigarettes per year. In 2008 per capita consumption of tobacco products was registered at the level of 2,664, which is equivalent to every Kazakhstan citizen to smoking 7.3 cigarettes a day. In 2009 this number increased to 9 cigarettes a day.

Thus, in just a few years of the major transnational tobacco companies working to increase Kazakhstan tobacco consumption grew more than 8-fold," the Ministry gave the sad statistics.

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