Tobacco kills 6m yearly

RISKY: Woman smoking. PHOTO: BAFANA MAHLANGU
RISKY: Woman smoking. PHOTO: BAFANA MAHLANGU

TOBACCO kills up to half of its users.

Nearly six million people die each year of tobacco use. More than five million are users and ex-users and more than 600000 are nonsmokers exposed to second-hand smoke.

By the year 2030 the annual death toll could rise to more than eight million.

According to a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) the use of tobacco caused 100 million deaths in the 20th century.

"If current trends continue, it will cause up to one billion deaths in the 21st century," the report says.

The effects of second-hand smoking are the cause of more than 28% of deaths in children.

In adults second-hand smoke causes serious cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, including coronary heart disease and lung cancer.

In infants it causes sudden death. In pregnant women it causes low birth weight.

Studies were carried out after the implementation of pictorial package warnings in Brazil, Canada, Singapore and Thailand indicated that they increased people's awareness of the harms of tobacco use.

The WHO-suggested measures to decrease the effects of tobacco, are:

  • Monitor tobacco use and prevention policies;
  • Offer help to quit;
  • Warn about the dangers;
  • Enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship;
  • Raise taxes on tobacco.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

X