1. Global Death Toll:
Smoking is responsible for approximately 8 million deaths each year worldwide. This includes both active smokers and individuals exposed to secondhand smoke.
2. Premature Deaths:
On average, smokers die about 10 years earlier than non-smokers. Smoking-related diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), contribute to this reduced life expectancy.
3. Healthcare Costs:
The economic burden of smoking-related healthcare costs and lost productivity is immense. In the United States alone, the estimated annual economic cost of smoking is over $300 billion.
4. Youth Initiation:
Most smokers start smoking before the age of 18. Nearly 9 out of 10 adult smokers report that they tried their first cigarette by age 18, and 99% by age 26.
5. Secondhand Smoke:
Secondhand smoke exposure is also a major health concern. It causes approximately 1.2 million premature deaths per year globally, affecting non-smokers who are exposed to the toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke.