India accounts for nearly three- fourths of over a quarter million deaths worldwide caused by smokeless tobacco while millions more have their lives shortened due to its ill health effects, a new study has found. Nearly 85 per cent of the total burden attributable to smokeless tobacco (SLT) use was in South-East Asia, with India alone accounting for 74 per cent of the global burden, followed by Bangladesh (five per cent),” said the study that assessed the impact of smokeless tobacco on adults.The study collected smokeless tobacco consumption figures for 115 countries and estimated burden of disease for 113 of these countries. It found that in 2010, smokeless tobacco use led to 62,283 deaths due to cancers of mouth, pharynx and oesophagus and 204,309 deaths from heart diseases. Kamran Siddiqi, senior lecturer in epidemiology and public health at the Department of Health Sciences/Hull York Medical School, said: “It is possible that these figures are underestimated and future studies may reveal that the impact is even bigger. We need a global effort to try and address and control smokeless tobacco.”

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