“Tobacco kills more than 8 million people every year.” ¹


World No Tobacco Day is on May 31 this year. This day aims to help smokers quit and raise awareness of the health risks associated with smoking.

Research has shown that tobacco kills more than 8 million people each year. More than 7 million of these deaths are due to direct tobacco use while about 1.2 million are due to non-smokers exposed to secondhand smoke.

Quit smoking

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The health effects of smoking

Smoking affects your appearance:

Stopping has an immediate positive impact on your body’s appearance. In addition, when smokers quit, they report many positive life changes, such as more energy, more money to spend, food tastes better, increased quality of life years and free time.

Smoking and cancer:

Tobacco smoke has at least 70 chemicals that are known to cause cancer in various organs – especially lungs, esophagus, larynx (voice box), mouth, throat / pharynx, blood, bladder, kidneys, liver, pancreas, stomach, cervix, colon and rectum. .

Smoking and other non-communicable diseases:

Smoking affects almost every organ of the body and increases your chances of many non-communicable diseases.

The health benefits of quitting

Look at the timeline of benefits when you quit smoking:

  • In 20 minutes: blood pressure and heart rate drop
  • after 12 hours: the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal
  • between 2 weeks – 3 months: improves blood circulation. Lungs begin to function better
  • between 1 – 9 months: cough and shortness of breath reduced. The risk of infections decreases
  • after 1 year: heart disease risk reduced to half that of a smoker
  • between 5 – 15 years: risk of stroke is the same as that of a non-smoker
  • after 10 years: risk of lung cancer drops to about half that of a smoker. Risk of mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix and pancreas reduced
  • after 15 years: risk of heart attack is the same as that of a non-smoker.

Stopping may require several attempts. Keep trying; do not give up if you initially fail. Call the national toll-free stopline or talk to your local doctor today to quit smoking.

In view of the challenges posed by COVID-19, it is important for organizations to ensure that other potentially fatal diseases caused by smoking are not neglected.

Learn how our health advisors can support your organization’s resilience.

¹Source: World Health Organization, Tobacco Fact Sheet, May 2020