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  Tobacco and Your Health

How important is tobacco to your country's health?

Tobacco use can kill up to half of all the people who use it, and half in middle age. This is a serious problem for any country, especially when there are many other health problems.

Who can be hurt by tobacco?

Tobacco can kill the people who use it. It can also hurt the people who breathe in the smoke from other people's smoking.

How does smoking kill?

Tobacco smoke contains more than 4000 chemicals. Many of them are harmful and can cause cancer, cardiovascular disease, respiratory damage, and other problems. Tobacco that is chewed or sniffed also contains disease-causing components.

How dangerous is it to start smoking?

Tobacco is addictive, which means that it is difficult to stop using it, even when one wants to stop. So it is very dangerous to start smoking.

Why people use tobacco?

People use tobacco for many reasons. It can pleasurable, and help people to feel different. Tobacco transnationals use deception and propaganda to make people want to begin to smoke in spite of the danger.

What can you do?

You can act to help people to stop smoking, to help people to remain non-smokers, to join together with others to change social attitudes and to press for tobacco control laws.

Effects of Secondhand Smoke
Estimated Annual Deaths and Illness Among Smokers

Illness/ disease
Development defects
Number of people or cases
Number of people or cases
  In the US In the US
Low birth weigh (cases) 9,700 - 18,600 100 - ,2200
Sudden death 1,900 - 27,000 120
Respiratory effects in children    
- middle ear infection (physician Office visits) 700,000 - 1.6 million 78,600 - 188,700
- Asthma exacerbation (children) 400,000 - 1.0 million 48,000 - 120,000
- Bronchitis or pneumonia in infant and toddlers (18 months and younger) 150,000 - 300,000 cases 18,000 - 36,000 cases
  7,500 - 15,000 hospitalisations 900 - 1,800 hospitalisations
  135- 212 deaths 16 - 25 deaths
Lung cancer 3000 deaths 360 deaths
Heart attacks and strokes 35,000 - 62,000 deaths 4,200 - 7,440 deaths