Switzerland saw a stark increase in the number of tobacco-related deaths in women between 1995 and 2012, according to the latest figures from the Swiss health ministry.
In 2012, 9,500 people died of illnesses connected to tobacco, such as lung cancer or heart attacks. This made up around 15% of all deaths.
The number of men dying from tobacco-related illnesses went down by 13% during the same time period, to 6,200 such deaths in 2012. The same year 3,300 women died from the same causes, which amounted to an increase of 58% since 1995.
However, the development of tobacco-related deaths lags behind the development of consumer habits: for example, the number of “heavy smokers" (more than 20 cigarettes a day) in Switzerland has sharply declined by 50% in the last 20 years.
At 42% of all smoking-related deaths, cancer is the main cause, in particular lung cancer. Cardiovascular illnesses made up 39% of such deaths, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), 15%. A fifth of those affected died before the age of 65.
The figures came from a long-term study of federal data by the health ministry and death statistics from the Federal Statistical Office.
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