Three times more cancer deaths among smokers

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Significant increase in cancer deaths in women due to tobacco use

The number of cancer deaths among women in Germany associated with smoking has tripled over the past three decades, reports the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day on May 31. Today, significantly more men still die from typical smoking cancers, but if women continue to increase their tobacco consumption, an adjustment can be expected here in the coming decades.

For men, smoking-related deaths from lung, bronchial or larynx cancer reached almost 28,000 in 1980, while fewer than 5,000 women died of cancer at the time, reports the Federal Statistical Office. Since then, lung, bronchial and larynx cancer deaths among women have almost tripled, while the number of deaths among men has increased only slightly. According to the Federal Statistical Office, more than twice as many men as women died as a result of their tobacco use in 2011, but women have caught up terrifyingly.

Cancer deaths among female smokers increased by 186 percent Over the past 30 years, the number of women who died from cancer typical of smoking has increased from less than 5,000 in 1980 to around 14,500 in 2011, according to the Federal Statistical Office of World No Tobacco Day. The number of male deaths from lung, bronchial and larynx cancer rose from just under 28,000 to 31,000 in the same period. In parallel to the significantly increased tobacco consumption of women, the number of cancer deaths associated with this has increased drastically. Compared to 1981, there was an increase of 186 percent, while the number of men who died of lung, bronchial and larynx cancer rose by only 11 percent. Continuing development could have massive consequences for the general life expectancy of women, because according to the Federal Statistical Office, “women with lung, bronchial or larynx cancer are on average almost 71 years old (deceased) and thus ten years earlier than their peers . "

Fewer cigarettes, more cigarillos and cigars Although various government measures (for example increased tobacco tax, partial ban on tobacco advertising) have been taken to reduce tobacco consumption, there has so far been no clear change in trend overall. According to the Federal Statistical Office, “the daily consumption of cigarettes has dropped from 363 million in 2003 to just 225 million in 2012”, but in the same period “the daily consumption of cigars and cigarillos has dropped from 9 million to 10 Millions of pieces "increased and" the consumption of fine cut increased from 51 tons to 74 tons. "In fact, the numbers are likely to be significantly higher, since only the taxed tobacco goods in the respective calendar year were taken into account as a database and the untaxed tobacco goods were not recorded.

From a production point of view, it can be seen that, according to Destatis, a total of 206.2 billion cigarettes, two billion cigarillos and 555 million cigars, as well as 43,300 tons of fine cut and 800 tons of pipe tobacco, were produced in Germany in 2012. Compared to the previous year, the production of cigars increased by 4.4 percent and fine cuts by 1.1 percent. "Since German reunification, no more cigars and fine cuts have been produced in Germany than in 2012", reports the Federal Statistical Office. In contrast, the production of cigarettes fell by 6.3 percent and the production of cigarillos by 17.5 percent. Pipe tobacco production even decreased by 25.1 percent.

Ban on tobacco advertising required The focus of World No Tobacco Day this year is on the ban on tobacco advertising. Under the motto "Ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship" set by the World Health Organization (WHO), information is provided about the refined strategies of the tobacco industry for the promotion of their products and the fight for a more comprehensive ban. The German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg has published a publication entitled "Cigarette Advertising in Germany - Marketing Strategies for a Health Hazard Product". The non-smoking campaign, in which the DKFZ is also involved, also called for “the introduction of a comprehensive tobacco advertising ban”, which should include the following areas: ban on outdoor advertising, advertising in print media, in the cinema and on the Internet; Ban on advertising at the point of sale and on cigarette machines, ban on promotion, sponsorship and other forms of financial donation to third parties, ban on the transfer of the brand name to non-tobacco products and the placement of tobacco products in entertainment media, as well as a ban on the use of tobacco product packaging as an advertising medium through the introduction standardized packaging.

The health institutions hope that the number of smokers can be significantly reduced in the long term through a more extensive ban on advertising. However, Germany is already struggling to implement the signed WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and voluntary commitments to consistently ban tobacco advertising have so far not been adequately met. Numerous exceptions still give tobacco companies in Germany the opportunity to advertise their products. (fp)

Image: Martin Büdenbender /

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