Every year, on 31 May, the World Health Organization and partners worldwide mark World No Tobacco Day, highlighting the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption. Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death globally and is currently responsible for 10% of adult deaths worldwide.
Key Facts About Tobacco Use:
- Tobacco kills up to half of its users.
- Each year, nearly 6 million people die from tobacco-related illness. More than five million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while more than 600,000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.
- Unless action is taken to reduce tobacco use, the annual death toll could rise to more than eight million by 2030.
- Nearly 80% of the world’s one billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries.
- Consumption of tobacco products is increasing globally, though it is decreasing in some high-income and upper middle-income countries.
Second-hand smoke kills
Second-hand smoke is the smoke that fills enclosed spaces when people burn tobacco products such as cigarettes. 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.
There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke.
- In adults, second-hand smoke causes serious cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, including coronary heart disease and lung
- In infants, it causes sudden death.
- In pregnant women, it causes low birth weight.
- Almost half of children regularly breathe air polluted by tobacco smoke in public places.
- 40% of children have at least one smoking parent.
- Second-hand smoke causes more than 600 000 premature deaths per year.
- In 2004, children accounted for 28% of the deaths attributable to second-hand smoke.
Every person should be able to breathe tobacco-smoke-free air. Smoke-free laws protect the health of non-smokers, are popular, do not harm business and encourage smokers to quit. Over 1 billion people, or 16% of the world’s population, are protected by comprehensive national smoke-free laws.
For information to help kick the habit, please visit: