May 31st is World No Tobacco Day, an annual day intended to educate policy-makers and the general public about the tobacco industry and the dangers of smoking. This year’s theme is Tobacco Industry Interference. According to the World Health Organization, “the campaign focused on the need to expose and counter the tobacco industry's brazen and increasingly aggressive attempts to undermine the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) because of the serious danger they pose to public health.”
According to 2010 research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 45.3 million people, or 19.3% of all adults (aged 18 years or older), in the United States smoke cigarettes. Cigarette smoking is more common among men (21.5%) than women (17.3%).
Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, accounting for approximately 443,000 deaths, or 1 of every 5 deaths, in the United States each year. Compared to nonsmokers, smoking is estimated to increase the risk of the following:
- Coronary heart disease by 2 to 4 times
- Stroke by 2 to 4 times
- Men developing lung cancer by 23 times
- Women developing lung cancer by 13 times
- Dying from chronic obstructive lung diseases (such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema) by 12 to 13 times
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