WASHINGTON — Increased cigarette smoking worldwide will result in a 50% rise in lung cancer deaths by the year 2000, according to a study released Saturday.
More than 1 billion people in the world smoke cigarettes at an average rate of more than half a pack a day, said the study by the Worldwatch Institute, a Washington-based think tank.
Cigarette smoking is increasing worldwide at a rate of 2.1% a year, the study said.
Growth of Habit
Because smoking's health hazards appear only after years of exposure to smoke, the continued growth of the habit will mean increased illness in years to come, the study said.
"Tragically, the cost in lives and money can only be expected to grow," the study said. "Seventy-three percent more tobacco is consumed now than 20 years ago, so without a sudden drop in smoking, lung cancer deaths, for example, will almost certainly increase by 50% by the turn of the century. Many such losses will occur in nations totally unprepared to deal with the new epidemic.