Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death in the world. It causes 1 in 10 deaths among adults worldwide. In 2005, tobacco caused 5.4 million deaths, or an average of one death every 6 seconds. At the current rate, the death toll is projected to reach 8.3 million by 2030 and a total of one billion in the 21st century. European Community Second-hand tobacco smoke is dangerous to health. It causes cancer, heart disease and many other serious diseases in adults. Almost half of the world’s children breathe air polluted by tobacco smoke, which worsens their asthma conditions and causes dangerous diseases. At least 200 000 workers die every year due to exposure to second-hand smoke at work. This fact file explains why ensuring a smoke-free environment is the only way to protect ourselves from the lethal ill effects of tobacco smoke.
Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death in the world. It causes 1 in 10 deaths among adults worldwide. In 2005, tobacco caused 5.4 million deaths, or an average of one death every 6 seconds. The death toll is projected to reach 8.3 million by 2030 if current trends continue.
Tobacco kills half of its regular users. On average 29% of people around the world are smokers. Smoking is more common among men (47.5% of all men) than women (10.3%). Of the 1.3 billion smokers alive today, 650 million are likely to be killed by tobacco, half of them dying between the ages of 35 and 69.
More than one billion smokers, or 84% of all smokers, live in developing and transitional economy countries. By 2030, 70% of deaths attributable to tobacco will occur in the developing world.
Tobacco caused 100 million deaths in the 20th century. If current trends continue, there will be one billion deaths in the 21st century.
The smoke produced by burning tobacco products is known as second-hand tobacco smoke or environmental tobacco smoke. Tobacco smoke in enclosed spaces is breathed by everyone, exposing both smokers and non-smokers to its harmful effects. This is commonly referred to as involuntary smoking or passive smoking.
Second-hand tobacco smoke is dangerous to health. There are about 4000 known chemicals in tobacco smoke; more than 50 of them are known to cause cancer. Second-hand smoke also causes heart disease and many serious respiratory and cardiovascular diseases in adults which can lead to death.
An estimated 700 million children, or almost half of the world’s children, breathe air polluted by tobacco smoke, particularly at home. Second-hand smoke causes many serious diseases in children and worsens conditions such as asthma.
The International Labour Organization estimates that at least 200 000 workers die every year due to exposure to smoke at work. The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that second-hand smoke is responsible for about 3000 lung cancer deaths annually among non-smokers in the country.
Exposure to second-hand smoke also imposes economic costs on individuals, businesses and society as a whole, in the form of direct and indirect medical costs and productivity losses.
There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke. Neither ventilation nor filtration, even in combination, can reduce the exposure indoors to levels that are considered acceptable. Only 100% smoke-free environments provide effective protection