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Smoking Could Lead To 40M TB Deaths By 2050, Study Says

“Lung damage caused by smoking could cause an additional 18 million cases of tuberculosis (TB) and 40 million extra deaths from TB by 2050,” according to a study published on Tuesday in BMJ, Agence France-Presse reports. Researchers from the University of California at San Francisco derived the estimates “from a mathematic model of smoking trends and smoking’s impact on TB risk,” the news agency notes (10/5).

According to researcher Sanjay Basu and colleagues, “Smoking alone could undermine the worldwide goal of reducing TB mortality by half between 1990 and 2015,” BBC News writes (Briggs, 10/4). “If smoking rates were aggressively lowered, the TB deaths linked to smoking could decrease by 27 million by 2050,” the researchers estimate, according to WebMD/CBS News (Doheny, 10/4).