When you read through some of the latest smoking statistics it's amazing that cigarettes can still be freely bought. Here I've brought together some of the main statistics relating to smoking and health.
Smoking as a cause of death
Smoking causes the deaths of 440,000 people a year in the USA out of a total of 2.4 million deaths a year. By 2020 the World Health organization expects 10 million people a year to die from smoking throughout the world. Although smoking is declining in many developed countries, it's on the increase in many developing countries.
Smoking and cancer
It is estimated that in the USA, 87% of cases of lung cancer are due to smoking. Men who smoke are increasing their chances of dying from the disease by 22 times. Smoking is the cause behind 30% of the deaths due to cancer in the USA.
Smoking and heart attack
Studies from the UK show that smokers in their 30's and 40's are five times more likely to have a heart attack than their non-smoking peers.
Passive smoking statistics
Passive smoking is the inhaling of smoke from the cigarettes that other people are smoking. This could occur at work, in the home or during leisure at bars, cafes etc. In the USA, it's believed that 3,000 people die every year from lung cancer due to passive smoking.
In the UK, more than 17,000 children under the age of 5 are admitted to hospital due to the effects of passive smoking, every year. Studies have shown that children from homes where both parents smoke, there is an increased risk of them developing a disease of the respiratory system. At a time when asthma rates in children are on the rise, this should be a serious concern.
Non-smokers who are exposed to cigarette smoke in the home are at a 25% increased risk of developing heart disease or lung cancer.
Can drugs help?
Here are the statistics from one of the newest drugs that can help you stop smoking. The product is called Chantix (Champix in the UK) and is based on the active ingredient varenicline. In a 12-week study, 44% of smokers that were receiving the product were able to quit. This compared to only 18% that were receiving a placebo, and 30 % that were receiving Zyban (bupropion). These results are fairly impressive but it does mean that more than half the subjects in the study failed to quit smoking.
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