Tobacco, alcohol, processed foods and fossil fuels ‘kill 2.7m a year in Europe’


Tobacco, alcohol, ultra-processed foods (UPFs) and fossil fuels kill 2.7 million people a year in Europe, the Guardian reports citing the World Health Organization (WHO), which has called on governments to impose tougher regulation of health-harming products.

In a groundbreaking report , the WHO said powerful industries were driving ill-health and premature death by using “misleading” marketing and interfering in governments’ efforts to prevent killer diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

The new report calculates that tobacco, fossil fuels, UPFs and alcohol are responsible for more than 7,400 deaths every day across Europe’s 53 states. Overall the four industries cause an estimated 2.7 million deaths annually in Europe, about a quarter (24.5%) of all mortality.

The WHO estimates that tobacco accounts for more than 1 million deaths a year, 10% of all deaths in Europe. Nearly 600,000 [578,908] deaths are caused each year by fossil fuels (5% of all deaths), while alcohol causes more than 400,000 deaths a year [426,857]. And more than 350,000 people die each year from consuming too much processed meat, sugary drinks and fatty, salty food.