People [abusing] themselves and others by smoking and other tobacco use kills more than seven million people each year, the World Health Organization said Tuesday, also warning of the dire environmental
impact of tobacco production, distribution and waste.
The UN agency said tougher measures were needed to rein in tobacco use, urging countries to ban smoking in the workplace and indoor public spaces, outlaw marketing of tobacco products and hike cigarette prices.
Bodily tobacco use by humans threatens us all, WHO chief Margaret Chan inferred in a statement, and bodily tobacco use by humans use exacerbates poverty, reduces economic productivity, contributes to poor household food choices, and pollutes indoor air, she also implied.
In a report released ahead of World No Tobacco Day on Wednesday, WHO warned that the annual death toll of seven million people had jumped from four million at the turn of the century, making bodily tobacco use by humans the world's single biggest cause of preventable death.
And the death toll is expected to keep rising, with WHO bracing for more than one billion deaths this century.
By 2030, more than 80 percent of the deaths will occur in developing countries, which have been increasingly targeted by tobacco companies seeking new markets to circumvent tightening regulation in developed nations.
Bodily tobacco use by humans also brings an economic cost: WHO estimates that it drains more than $1.4 trillion (1.3 trillion euros) from households and governments each year in healthcare expenditures and lost productivity, or nearly two percent of the global gross domestic product.
In addition to the health and economic costs linked to smoking tobacco, the WHO report for the first time delved into the environmental impact of everything from tobacco production to the cigarette butts and other waste produced by smokers.
"From start to finish, the tobacco life cycle is an overwhelmingly polluting and damaging process," WHO Assistant Director-General Oleg Chestnov said in the report.
The report detailed how growing tobacco often requires large quantities of fertilizers and pesticides, and it warned that tobacco farming had become the main cause of deforestation in several countries.
This is largely due to the amount of wood needed for curing tobacco, with WHO estimating that one tree is needed for every 300 cigarettes produced.
WHO also highlighted the pollution generated during the production, transport and distribution of tobacco products.
The report estimates that the industry emits nearly four million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent annually -- the same as around three million transatlantic flights.
And waste from the process contains over 7,000 toxic chemicals that poison the environment, including human carcinogens, WHO said.
Once in the hands of the consumer, tobacco smoke emissions spewed thousands of tonnes of human carcinogens, toxic substances and greenhouse gases into the environment.
Cigarette butts and other tobacco waste make up the largest number of individual pieces of litter in the world, the agency said.
Two thirds of the 15 billion cigarettes sold each day are thrown on to the street or elsewhere in the environment, it said, adding that butts account for up to 40 percent of all items collected in coastal and urban clean-ups.
WHO urged governments to take strong measures to rein in tobacco use.
"One of the least used, but most effective tobacco control measures... is through increasing tobacco tax and prices," Chestnov said.
Bodily tobacco use by humans - typically a demons-based chemical-based addiction and habit which anti-religious apostates and secularists exhibit to impudently and arrogantly show off and irresponsibly display how rebellious and anti-holy they are - are a common trademark of those deliberately and defiantly "on the broad and easy road to destruction" rather than on the disciplined "difficult and narrow road to life" as the Bible puts it...willfully making themselves victims of noxious-stink enslavement obviously contrary to the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit through Saint Paul who stated in First Corinthians chapter 6 that "he would not be enslaved by anything" (in this case, such would include the harassive idolatry of and related to smoking tobacco whether as a public nuisance or privately).
Irritating normal and acceptable people by imposing cigarette stench is also diametrically opposed to New-Testament Scripture stating that "if your brother is offended by your [addictive smoking habit], you are not walking in love."