World No Tobacco Day
- According to the World Health Organization, nearly 80% of the world's 1 billion smokers live in low and middle income countries.
- Arsenic, lead and tar are just three of the 7,000 chemicals that are found in tobacco smoke.
- In 2015, 15.3% of American women smoked, compared to 20.5% of American men.
Tobacco smoking is the primary cause for lung cancer, responsible for over two thirds of lung cancer deaths globally. Second-hand smoke exposure at home or in the work place also increases risk of lung cancer. Quitting smoking can reduce the risk of lung cancer: after 10 years of quitting smoking, risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker.
Chronic Respiratory Disease
Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a condition where the build-up of pus-filled mucus in the lungs results in a painful cough and agonising breathing difficulties. The risk of developing COPD is particularly high among individuals who start smoking at a young age, as tobacco smoke significantly slows lung development. Tobacco also exacerbates asthma, which restricts activity and contributes to disability. Early smoking cessation is the most effective treatment for slowing the progression of COPD and improving asthma symptoms.
Tuberculosis (TB) damages the lungs and reduces lung function, which is further exacerbated by tobacco smoking. About one quarter of the world’s population has latent TB, placing them at risk of developing the active disease. People who smoke are twice as likely to fall ill with TB. Active TB, compounded by the damaging lung health effects of tobacco smoking, substantially increases risk of disability and death from respiratory failure.
The World No Tobacco Day 2019 campaign will raise awareness on the:
- Risks posed by tobacco smoking and second-hand smoke exposure;
- Awareness on the particular dangers of tobacco smoking to lung health;
- Magnitude of death and illness globally from lung diseases caused by tobacco, including chronic respiratory diseases and lung cancer;
- Emerging evidence on the link between tobacco smoking and tuberculosis deaths;
- Implications of second hand exposure for lung health of people across age groups.
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