WHO: 1.3-million non-smokers die annually due to tobacco

WHO: 1.3-million non-smokers die annually due to tobacco

The World Health Organization says at least 1.3-million people around the world lose their lives due to second-hand smoking. 

Woman using her hands to break cigarette
Woman using her hands to break cigarette/ iStock

Globally, there are 1.25-billion adult tobacco users. This is according to the latest statistics released by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 16 January. 

Not only is smoking bad for smokers' health, but it can also damage those who are exposed to it. 

According to WHO, an estimated 1.3-million non-smokers die annually due to tobacco. This is not overlooking the fact that tobacco kills more than eight-million smokers each year. 

READ: Only four nations doing enough to stub out smoking: WHO

However, there have been attempts made to reduce the number of smokers. 

The Tobacco Control Bill was debated in South Africa last year.

There was a call for the 'passing of new legislation to free South Africa from addiction and other harms associated with the use of tobacco and related products including e-cigarettes', states CANSA.org

“A sick nation is a poor nation. Our communities want freedom from tobacco and the damage it causes to our health, our environment and our economy. The Bill includes carefully designed measures to achieve this and we need it to be urgently passed into law so we can move towards a tobacco-free, healthy nation,” Dr Catherine Egbe reportedly said. 

“Freedom from tobacco use means so many things – freedom to breathe, to be healthy, to live longer lives.  It frees our loved ones and communities from toxic second-hand smoke. It also gives hungry communities the freedom to spend more money on food, rather than tobacco,” said Sanele Zulu, Convenor of the South African Tobacco-Free Youth Forum (SATFYF). 

“Our young people need to make the right choices, but they also deserve better protection from the targeted marketing of tobacco and e-cigarette companies. The new Bill provides this protection,” Sanele added. 

The World Health Organization also states that over the years there has been a decline in tobacco usage. 

“Good progress has been made in tobacco control in recent years, but there is no time for complacency," said Dr Ruediger Krech, Director of WHO Department of Health Promotion.

However, he said he is astounded by how far the tobacco industry will go to make profits. 

"I’m astounded at the depths the tobacco industry will go to pursue profits at the expense of countless lives. We see that the minute a government thinks they have won the fight against tobacco the tobacco industry seizes the opportunity to manipulate health policies and sell their deadly products," Dr Ruediger Krech, added.

READ: Tobacco use shrinking worldwide: WHO

Follow us on social media:

Image courtesy of iStock/ Prostock-Studio

Show's Stories