There are more than 4000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, of which at least 250 are known to be harmful and more than 50 are known to cause cancer. Tobacco is the second major cause of death in the world,
after cardiovascular disease, and is directly responsible
for about one in ten adult deaths worldwide, equating to
about 6 million deaths each year. Cigarettes kill half of all lifetime
users. Half die in middle age -
between 35 and 69 years old.
No other consumer product is
as dangerous, or kills as many
people. Tobacco kills more than
AIDS, legal drugs, illegal drugs,
road accidents, murder, and
suicide combined. (a.)
Tobacco kills more men
in developing countries than in
industrialised countries, and it is
likely that deaths among women
will soon be the same.
While 0.1 billion people died
from tobacco use in the 20th
century, ten times as many will
die in the 21st century. (a.) If current trends continue, tobacco use could kill more than eight million people per year by 2030, and up to one billion people in total in the 21st century. (b.)
According to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control state that there is "no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke". Creating 100% smoke-free environments is the only way to protect people from the harmful effects of second-hand tobacco smoke. (b.)
More than 80% of the world's one billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries. The number of male smokers in China exceeds the entire population of the United States. Greece maintains the highest level of smoking, along with Turkey and
Hungary, with 30% or more of the adult population
smoking daily. Greece and Mexico are the only OECD
countries where smoking appears to be increasing in
both men and women. (b.)
Only 5.4% of people are protected by comprehensive national smoke-free laws globally and Of the 100 most populous cities, 22 are smoke free. Second-hand smoke causes 600 000 premature deaths per year. In 2004, children accounted for 28% of the deaths attributable to second-hand smoke.
Top 5 facts sources:
Shafey, O., Eriksen, M., Ross, H., Mackay, J., (2009). "The Tobacco Atlas, Third Edition." Retrieved Jan 12th, 2011.
WHO. (2009). "WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic". Retrieved Jan 12th, 2011.