THE most recent data on smoking trends in Spain has showed that even though the number of smokers has decreased, deaths related to smoking continue to rise.
In 2012, Spain reached its highest peak of mortality rates, with 60,465 deaths, a staggering 166 victims per day and 15.23 per cent of the total deaths in Spain. The data was released in a study entitled ‘Impact of tobacco consumption on the mortality in Spain in 2012’, recently published in the magazine Medicina Clinica, and conducted by experts at the Carlos III University in Madrid.
The contradiction between the decrease in smoker numbers and the increase in deaths is caused, according to the experts, because the deadly effects of tobacco appear more than 30 years after someone starts to smoke. However, since 2003, when 28.1 per cent of people in Spain above 16 years old were smokers, the number has registered a clear negative trend.
Tobacco consumption is related to more than 25 different illnesses and is responsible for 85 per cent of all cases of lung cancer (and 30 per cent of deaths); for 75 per cent of chronic bronchitis and 25 per cent of heart conditions. Smokers present a risk for sudden death of between two and four times higher than a non-smoker. The Spanish association against cancer estimates that 50 per cent of people who smoke regularly will die due to tobacco consumption.