Apr 04

Smoking and it’s health risks

Smoking is often seen as a habit you’d rather not be near, if you are a non smoker. If you smoke you may feel like society is turning against you as there seems to be less and less places you can openly smoke in a lot of Western Cities nowadays. But there are some thing about smoking you may not know, so read on to find out some startling statistics.

It is estimated that, if trends continue, Smoking will fast become a bad habit  in western society. Over the last few Decades progressive governments have tried to legislate against smokers by raising taxes, banning advertising, funding campaigns that target smokers in ever more gruesome ways and, more recently banning the display of cigarettes in stores and making them be sold in plain packaging. This is a strange way to behave, if you think about it, as the tax revenue governments collect from smokers is huge. Having said that, as you’ll find out later in this post, the healthcare costs are now far outweighing the tax benefits countries collect.   In other parts of the world there seems to be a different trend which shows smoking numbers are growing, much to the delight of the tobacco companies.

For instance;

Nearly 80% of the deaths caused by smoking occur in low to middle income countries around the world, in China alone, nearly 1.2 million deaths per year are caused by smoking. We also know that Places such as Mexico and other Central and South American countries have a growing trend in smoker numbers.

We know, however, the dangers and health problems caused by smoking. A lot of this information has been in the possession of the tobacco companies themselves since the 1960’s but, until the health care costs of major economies such as the USA started to  rise, the public were not made aware of the dangers of smoking, even the dangers of passive smoking.

Lets face it, the major tobacco companies have made huge profits out of, well, killing people!

Recent statistics show the 6 largest tobacco companies, in 2010, made some $35.1 Billion in profits. That equated, to $6,000 profit for every person that died from smoking directly or smoking related diseases.

Makes you think, doesn’t it!

Actually, the combined revenue from all the tobacco industry world wide is estimated to be some 1/2 a trillion Dollars (US) per year. One billion people will die from tobacco use or exposure to tobacco smoke in the 21st Century, which equates to 1 person every 6 seconds!

Stop Smoking Toaday

Stop Smoking today

Did you know of all the people that die from lung cancer each year, 86% of them are caused by smoking tobacco. Of all the deaths from bronchitis and emphysema, 80% are caused by smoking and 17% of all deaths from heart disease are caused by smoking world wide? Scary? you bet it is!

Smoking, was seen in the past as a great social event, you could not watch an old film without seeing people smoking around tables, in cars and on the street.  James bond famously sat at the card table in his 1st film with a cigarette in his mouth,now his films don’t have a single smoker in them!

These days it has been banned in public places within many cities, you have to smoke in designated areas at a lot of places of work and public transport can be a no no to smokers.

Some real statistics attributed to smoking are;

Smokers under 40 years of age are 5 times more likely to have a heart attack than non smokers of the same age.

People who smoke 1-14 cigarettes a day have 8 times more risk of dying from cancer than non smokers

It is estimated that 200,000 young people in the UK start smoking every year. Also young people who smoke are more likely to get involved in other substance abuse such as alcohol and drugs of some sort or another.

The younger the person is when he or she starts smoking and the longer they persist in the habit the greater the risk of developing cancer.

Smokers quickly become addicted to the nicotine in cigarette smoke. it has been found that after just 4 weeks of having as little as 1 cigarette a day a person is addicted.

The Cost;

According the the Tobacco Atlas, published by the American Cancer Society, countries do not gain economically from tobacco. The combined costs of treating smoking related illness, loss of productivity due to people being unable to work through ill health and the cost of premature death can cripple economies.

The damage cause by just 1 pack of cigarettes costs the average American smoker $35. In Egypt, tobacco related health care drained 11% of total health care costs in 2010

During 2000–2004, the value of cigarettes sold in the United States averaged $71 billion per year, while cigarette smoking was responsible for an estimated $193 billion in annual health-related economic losses (source, American Cancer Society)

Lastly, it is estimated that 43 trillion cigarettes have been smoked in the last 10 years. No matter how you look at it this is a huge problem to public health.

So, to get people to stop smoking is a real headache for health care professionals and one, which I believe, will take many decades to win, if we ever do.