1. Tobacco use killed 100 million people during the 20 th century.
2. Tobacco use is the world’s leading cause of preventable death.
3. Tobacco kills prematurely – smokers lose 15 years of life.
4. Everyday another 80 000-100 000 people become addicted to tobacco.
5. Second hand smoke kills 600 000 people per year – including 165 000 children.
6. Tobacco use costs the world an estimated $500 billion each year in health care expenditures, productivity losses, fire damage and other costs
7. 25 000 die annually is South Africa of smoking related illnesses.
8. 2.5 million work days are lost in SA due to absenteeism from tobacco related illnesses.
People cite many reasons for using tobacco, including pleasure, improved performance and vigilance, relief of depression, curbing hunger, and weight control.
The primary addicting substance in cigarettes is nicotine. But cigarette smoke contains thousands of other chemicals that also damage health. Hazards include heart disease, lung cancer and emphysema, peptic ulcer, disease and stroke. Withdrawal symptoms of smoking include hunger, sleep disturbances and depression.
Nearly 5,000 chemicals have been identified in tobacco smoke to date. Public health authorities have classified between 45 and 70 of those chemicals, including carcinogens, irritants and other toxins, as potentially causing the harmful effects of tobacco use.
Ingredients of cigarettes:
For a start, here’s the who’s who of the most toxic ingredients used to make cigarettes tastier, and more quickly, effectively addictive:
- Ammonia: Household cleaner.
- Arsenic: Used in rat poisons.
- Benzene: Used in making dyes, synthetic rubber.
- Butane: Gas; used in lighter fluid.
- Carbon monoxide: Poisonous gas.
- Cadmium: Used in batteries.
- Cyanide: Lethal poison.
- DDT: A banned insecticide.
- Ethyl Furoate: Causes liver damage in animals.
- Lead: Poisonous in high doses.
- Formaldehyde: Used to preserve dead specimens.
- Methoprene: Insecticide.
- Maltitol: Sweetener for diabetics.
- Napthalene: Ingredient in mothballs.
- Methyl isocyanate: Its accidental release killed 2000 people in Bhopal, India, in 1984.
- Polonium: Cancer-causing radioactive element.
Hubbly bubblies or Hookah pipes
Many people smoke Hubbly bubblies today, and view it as innocent and harmless. In fact Hubbly bubblies or Hookah pipes are deadly. Hookah is as addictive as cigarettes. It has a sweet smell and flavour that makes it easier to inhale without coughing. It is therefore viewed as harmless – but is is a drug that can make you very ill. Even sitting in a room where Hookahs are smoked, exposes you to all the poisonous gasses from the Hookah. People who shares hookah pipes with others, expose themselves to TB , as well as the herpes virus.
Hookah pipes contain the same poisons that is found in cigarettes: nicotene, tar, arsenic poison and lead.
A hookah smoker takes about 100 puffs in a single (45 minute) session, while a cigarette smoker takes about 10 puffs per cigarette. In other words, smoking one hookah pipe can give you as much nicotine as smoking 10 cigarettes. Of course, it is the “tar” in tobacco smoke that causes cancer. The smoke produced in a typical hookah smoking session can contain about 36 times more tar, and about 8 times more carbon monoxide, than the smoke from a single cigarette.