FAST FACT ABOUT TOBACCO AND SMOKING: (from the World Health Organization)
Tobacco kills up to half of its users.
It kills more than five million people a year – an average of one person every six seconds – and accounts for one in 10 adult deaths.
The annual death toll of more than five million could rise to more than eight million by 2030 unless urgent action is taken to control the tobacco epidemic.
More than 80% of the world's one billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries.
Total consumption of tobacco products is increasing globally, though it is decreasing in some high-income and upper middle-income countries.
Tobacco users who die prematurely deprive their families of income, raise the cost of health care and hinder economic development.
Only 5.4% of people are protected by comprehensive national smoke-free laws.
In 2008, the number of people protected from second-hand smoke increased by 74% to 362 million from 208 million in 2007.
Of the 100 most populous cities, 22 are smoke free.
Almost half of children regularly breathe air polluted by tobacco smoke.
Over 40% of children have at least one smoking parent.
Second-hand smoke causes 600 000 premature deaths per year.
In 2004, children accounted for 28% of the deaths attributable to second-hand smoke.
There are more than 4000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, of which at least 250 are known to be harmful and more than 50 are known to cause cancer.
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.
WE CAN STILL DO SOMETHING ABOUT SMOKING. WE HAVE TO.
Some suggestions from WHO Tobacco Free Initiative, especially on this World No Tobacco Day commemoration which focuses on Women:
CALL TO THE PUBLIC:
- Demand that your government ban all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
- Demand that your government implement legislation to provide 100% protection from tobacco smoke in all public places and workplaces.
- Campaign for women's freedom from tobacco as a human right.
CALL TO CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS AND NGOs:
- Advocate for full implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
- Urge governments to take into account the specific needs of both women and men in the development of tobacco control strategies.
- Share information about the importance of controlling the global tobacco epidemic among women.
- Help to educate women about the tobacco industry's attempts to ensnare them and the dangers of tobacco use.
- Sensitize men to the harm that their second-hand smoke inflicts on the women and children with whom they live and work.
CALL TO GOVERNMENTS and POLICYMAKERS:
- Implement a comprehensive ban on all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, as called for in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
- Implement a comprehensive ban on tobacco smoke in all public places and workplaces, likewise called for in the WHO Framework Convention.
- Heed the call in the preamble of the WHO Framework Convention for "gender-specific tobacco control strategies" and the "full participation of women at all levels of [tobacco control] policy-making and implementation [of tobacco control measures]".
- Request assistance from WHO to implement the demand-reduction provisions of the WHO Framework Convention through the MPOWER package of tobacco control measures.
- Ensure that government agencies and other stakeholders work together to take into account the different needs of men and women.
- Ensure that tobacco control strategies take into account the special problems of women who chew tobacco.