Tobacco use is one of the greatest threats ever posed to global public health: it is responsible for the death of one adult every 6 seconds and accounts for one in 10 of all deaths. Every year, smoking kills over 7 million people, 890,000 of which are passive smokers*. Half of all current smokers will die from a disease caused by smoking.
Documented consequences of tobacco use include:
- Cancer: tobacco use is responsible for 16 cancers
- In first position, lung cancer: tobacco smoking is responsible for two thirds of lung cancer deaths. Quitting smoking can reduce the risk of lung cancer: after 10 years of quitting smoking, risk of lung cancer falls to half that of a smoker.
- It is also responsible for several other cancers: ENT, oesophagus, stomach, colon, rectum, liver, pancreas, kidney, bladder, cervix, etc.
- Chronic respiratory diseases:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Cardiovascular diseases:
- A smoker is 2 to 3 times more likely to develop a cardiovascular disease than a non-smoker.
- For women, the combination of birth control pills and smoking multiplies the risk of developing a cardiovascular disease, particularly after the age of 35.
- Osteoporosis: tobacco use raises the risk of bone demineralisation.
- Foetal growth abnormality: exposure to tobacco smoke toxins (through maternal smoking or second-hand smoke) can interfere with the infant’s lung growth and function.
Second-hand smoke kills
« Second-hand smoke” corresponds to being exposed to tobacco smoke in a closed space. This smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer. Though smoke may be invisible and odourless, it can linger in the air for up to five hours and cause severe chronic cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, including coronary heart disease and lung cancer.
Implementing a prevention and treatment plan
Most smokers who are aware of the dangers of smoking would like to quit. Advice and treatment may double the chances of successfully quitting.
An adapted medical check-up can identify risk factors that act in a synergistic manner to induce early cardiovascular aging.
- WHO data