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Join ASH > Support Global Action Against Tobacco

Tobacco use is a global epidemic, and the problem is getting worse rapidly as the tobacco industry penetrates the developing world. Here are some sobering facts.

Tobacco-related deaths

  • 20th Century – 100 million
  • 21st Century estimate – 1 billion
  • A person dies from tobacco every 6 seconds

 

More facts

  • Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, including 250 that are known to be harmful to human health and more than 50 known carcinogens.
  • There are 1.1 billion tobacco users in the world. This number is expected to increase to 1.6 billion over the next two decades.
  • More than 25% of all deaths in the U.S. are attributable to tobacco.
  • Tobacco industry revenue in 2010 was $664 billion. This was greater than the gross domestic products of all but 18 nations.
  • Worldwide, more than 600,000 nonsmokers die each year from exposure to secondhand smoke. Nearly a third of these victims are children.
  • The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FTCT), the world’s first public health treaty, is one of the most universal treaties in existence, with 176 Parties representing over 87% of global population. The United States has not ratified the FCTC.
  • Addiction to tobacco impacts poverty and development. In poorer countries, up to 30% of income is spent on tobacco, reducing funds available for nutrition, education and health care.
  • In the United States, each pack of cigarettes sold costs society an estimated $18.05.

 

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