Today is World No Tobacco Day. It is a day set aside by World Health Organization (WHO) to create awareness and highlight the health and other risks associated with tobacco use.
Tobacco is an annual plant that is cultivated for its narcotic leaves, which are used for smoking, chewing or sniffing.
This years’s World No Tobacco Day will focus on the impact tobacco has on the cardiovascular health of people worldwide.
Some of the key facts about tobacco are outlined below:
- Tobacco kills up to half of its users.
- Tobacco kills more than 7 million people each year. More than 6 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 890 000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.
- Around 80% of the world’s 1.1 billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries.
- On average, the life expectancy of a smoker is 10 years less than a nonsmoker.
- Cigarette smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, 70 of which are known to cause cancer.
- For every person who dies from a smoking-related disease, 20 more people suffer from a smoking-related illness.
- Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and lung diseases (including emphysema, bronchitis and chronic airway obstruction).
- Smokers typically inhale about 1 milligram (mg) of nicotine in a single cigarette. For some, that’s all it takes to become addicted.
- Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in the world.