Facts

Facts and figures about tobacco
• Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death in the world.
• Tobacco is the only consumer product that kills when used as intended by its manufacturers.
• Tobacco causes 1 in 10 adult deaths worldwide.
• Tobacco causes nearly 5 million deaths a year, or one death every 6.5 seconds.
• The current death toll will nearly double by 2020 if current trends continue.
• Total global smoking prevalence is 29%. By gender, 47.5% of men and 10.3% of women smoke.
• Tobacco kills 50% of its regular users. Of the 1.3 billion smokers alive today, 650 million will eventually be killed by tobacco. Of them, 325 million between the ages of 35 and 69.
• 900 million smokers, or 84% or the world total, live in developing and transitional economy countries.
• By 2030, 70% of deaths attributable to tobacco will occur in the developing world.
• 100 million deaths were caused by tobacco in the 20th century. If current trends continue, there will be one billion deaths in the 21st century.

(Source:  World Health Organisation 2006)

There is no risk-free level of contact with secondhand smoke; even brief exposure can be harmful to health.

In adults who have never smoked, secondhand smoke can cause—

  • Heart disease and/or
  • Lung cancer

Heart Disease

  • For nonsmokers, breathing secondhand smoke has immediate harmful effects on the cardiovascular system that can increase the risk for heart attack. People who already have heart disease are at especially high risk.
  • Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work increase their heart disease risk by 25–30%.
  • Secondhand smoke exposure causes an estimated 46,000 heart disease deaths annually among adult nonsmokers in the United States.

Lung Cancer

Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work increase their lung cancer risk by 20–30%.
Secondhand smoke exposure causes an estimated 3,400 lung cancer deaths annually among adult nonsmokers in the United States.

(Source:  United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2010)

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