Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death. This year, more than 5 million people will die from a tobacco-related heart attack, stroke, cancer, lung ailment or other disease. That does not include the more than 600,000 people – more than a quarter of them children – who will die from exposure to second-hand smoke. The annual death toll from the global epidemic of tobacco use could rise to 8 million by 2030. Having killed 100 million people during the 20th century, tobacco use could kill 1 billion during the 21st century. It kills more than five million people a year – an average of one person every six seconds – and accounts for one in 10 adult deaths. The tobacco epidemic kills nearly 6 million people per year.
· In 2008, the number of people protected from second-hand smoke increased by 74% to 362 million from 208 million in 2007.
· Of the 100 most populous cities, 22 are smoke free. Almost half of children regularly breathe air polluted by tobacco smoke.
· Over 40% of children have at least one smoking parent.
· Second-hand smoke causes more than 600 000 premature deaths per year.
· In 2004, children accounted for 28% of the deaths attributable to second-hand smoke.
· There are more than 4000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, of which at least 250 are known to be harmful and more than 50 are known to cause cancer.
· In adults, second-hand smoke causes serious cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, including coronary heart disease and lung cancer. In infants, it causes sudden death. In pregnant women, it causes low birth weight.