WHO Report: Smoking and Drinking Cause Millions of Deaths Worldwide

Almost six million people die from tobacco use and 2.5 million from harmful use of alcohol each year worldwide, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports.

The WHO report on non-communicable diseases—including diabetes, cancer and respiratory and heart diseases—says that a large percentage of these conditions could be prevented by reducing tobacco and alcohol use, eating a healthier diet and exercising more.

According to Reuters, the report explains that tobacco is expected to kill 7.5 million people worldwide by 2020, accounting for 10 percent of all deaths. Smoking causes an estimated 71 percent of lung cancers, 42 percent of chronic respiratory disease and almost 10 percent of cardiovascular disease, the report states.

Alcohol-related deaths account for 3.8 percent of all deaths worldwide, according to the report. More than half of these deaths occur from non-communicable diseases including cancer, heart disease and liver cirrhosis.

To reduce tobacco use, WHO recommends strategies including tobacco tax increases, distributing information about the health risks of smoking, restrictions on smoking in public places and workplaces, and comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

To reduce harmful alcohol use, WHO recommends a number of measures including increasing excise taxes on alcoholic beverages, regulating availability of alcoholic beverages (including minimum legal purchase age), restricting exposure to marketing of alcoholic beverages through marketing regulations or comprehensive advertising bans, and treatment of alcohol use disorders and brief interventions for hazardous and harmful drinking.

20 Responses

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    Sheri Young

    October 9, 2018 at 12:57 PM

    Smokers ARE litterbugs! I don’t smoke, but my freedom of a clean life are taken away because I (we) am in “involuntary servitude” by smokers that throw their ADDICTION ALL OVER OUR LIVES with reckless abandon. Freedom! I want FREEDOM from other people’s ADDICTION!

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    kevin finnegan

    May 4, 2018 at 4:52 PM

    cigarettes are harmful to anyone within 20 feet of them. Smokers are also the biggest litter bugs on the planet. And the most neurotic. Cigarette companies are funding opioid deaths as a diversion to the 500000 people they kill every year just in the us.

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      June 26, 2018 at 10:22 PM

      Do you think the cigarette causes people to be neurotic and litter more, or are you suggesting that litter bugs and neurotic people smoke cigarettes more often than not?

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    Harriet M Harding

    March 11, 2017 at 9:26 PM

    Second-hand smoke kills also.

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    January 23, 2017 at 3:57 PM

    those who drink alcohol give trouble to others when they are over drunk but those who smoke do not trouble others but kills self slowly, that is the main difference.So in comparison alcohol should be banned as it creates problem in society.

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    September 29, 2016 at 4:48 AM

    If parents don’t want drugs advertising on TV,media etc. Then why have alcohol advertised? Why is tobacco and alcohol legal and marijuana and prescription drugs legal? Easy…not only is both a huge money making business, but it also mAkes people sick, leading them to slow deaths making money over the years off their ailments. Prescriptions are a big money maker and you can only have what the pharma deems fit for you to consume. In most cases it isn’t what you need or makes you more sick. Less sick people means less pharma business. Marijuana treats many ailments and has been known to cure some forms of cancer. Marijuana is a huge threat to the pharmas bank roll. No marijuana overdoses, staggering numbers of tobacco and alcohol related deaths each year,as well as costing billions of dollars from such deaths. Check out madd.com for alcohol related deaths…300k/day people drive drunk,3200 apprehended. CDC for tobacco, too many Heath conditions to mention as well as overwhelming number of deaths. How many people overdose,crash or murder people when consuming marijuana?……please leave a reply having a leg to stand on. Not a generic ignorant comment like “drugs are bad” (while you are having a drink,while on your meds, having a smoke) media and government will tell you what they want you to know. If you are willing to believe everything you are told and not have a mind of you own,I feel sorry for you. It’s said ignorance is bliss….not really. Maybe bliss for the government and pharma industry….who funds and regulates the pharmacy industry? Pretty sure it is government….

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      Alexander Anderson

      April 18, 2018 at 1:57 PM

      Marijuana, it does not cause people to slowly die. there is nothing wrong with marijuana, The only way someone would die, is if they did more than 1,500 pounds in 15 mins, then they would die of overdose

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