15 smoking facts

1. Cigarettes are the single-most traded item on the planet, with approximately 1 trillion being sold from country to country each year. At a global take of more than $400 billion, it’s one of the world’s largest industries.

2. The nicotine content in several major brands is reportedly on the rise. Harvard University and the Massachusetts Health Department revealed that between 1997 and 2005 the amount of nicotine in Camel, Newport, and Doral cigarettes may have increased by as much as 11 percent.

3. The American brands Marlboro, Kool, Camel and Kent own roughly 70% of the global cigarette market.

4. Cigarettes contain arsenic, formaldehyde, lead, hydrogen cyanide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, ammonia and 43 known carcinogens.

5. Urea, a chemical compound that is a major component in urine, is used to add “flavor” to cigarettes.

6. In most countries around the world, the legal age for the purchase of tobacco products is now 18, raised from 16, while in Japan the age minimum is 20 years old.

7. Contrary to popular social belief, it is NOT illegal to smoke tobacco products at any age. Parents are within the law to allow minors to smoke, and minors are within the law to smoke tobacco products freely. However, the SALE of tobacco products is highly regulated with legal legislation.

8. Smoking bans in many parts of the world have been employed as a means to stop smokers smoking in public. As a result, many social businesses have claimed a significant drop in the number of people who go out to pubs, bars and restaurants.

9. Scientists claim the average smoker will lose 14 years of their life due to smoking. This however does not necessarily mean that a smoker will die young – and they may still live out a ‘normal’ lifespan.

10. The immune systems of smokers has to work harder every day than non-smokers. As a result, a smokers’ blood will contain less antioxidants, although a smokers immune system may be quicker to respond to virus attacks due to its more active nature.

11. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 25% of cigarettes sold around the world are smuggled.

12. China is home to 300 million smokers who consume approximately 1.7 trillion cigarettes a year, or 3 million cigarettes a minute.

13. There is enough nicotine in four or five cigarettes to kill an average adult if ingested whole. Most smokers take in only one or two milligrams of nicotine per cigarette however, with the remainder being burned off.

14. Worldwide, one in five teens age 13 to 15 smoke cigarettes.

15. Half of all long-term smokers will die a tobacco-related death.

See also: