Alcohol, Tobacco Are Biggest Threats To Human Welfare, Report Finds.
Consumption of alcohol and tobacco have been linked with multiple health hazards and there is overwhelming scientific evidence against these vices. However, a new study has now calculated the cost of these harmful habits to humans, in terms of life years and it’s no surprise that this cost is pretty heavy. Based on the data obtained from the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, the research study has evaluated the burden of death and disease of tobacco, alcohol and drug abuse.
The study, which has been published in the journal Addiction, has compiled the most up-to-date information on usage of alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug abuse. The analysis has shown that the biggest health burden on human beings comes from tobacco smoking, and the smallest proportion comes from illicit use of drugs. The study suggests that globally a whopping 15.2 per cent of all adults smoke tobacco. This means on in every nearly seven adults is a smoker. It also said that one in every five adults globally, has admitted to overdosing on alcohol in the past month.
Central, Eastern, and Western Europe were some parts mentioned in the report as areas of higher per capita consumption of alcohol, as compared to other parts of the world. The same regions also reported higher percentage of consumption of alcohol amongst drinkers. The same regions also reported highest prevalence of tobacco smoking. However, the use of illegal drugs was far less common than these other two vices, with less than one in every 20 adults admitted to using cannabis over the past year. The estimates were in even lesser for drugs like opioids, cocaine and amphetamines.
Africa, Caribbean and Latin America, Asia regions, however, have little or no data on substance abuse and the associated health burden. The reasons listed by the report for this absence of data are that these countries are typically low or middle-income countries with strict punitive action against drug abuse, and they frequently experience political and social unrest. It was suggested that these countries need better monitoring systems, as these regions are also at high risk of quick increase in substance abuse and the related health burdens.