World health organization

10 facts on the global tobacco epidemic

A hand holding a cigarette.
WHO/Jim Holmes

The tobacco epidemic kills nearly 6 million people a year

This includes more than 600 000 nonsmokers who will die from exposure to tobacco smoke. They die from cancer, heart disease, asthma and other illnesses. Unchecked, that number will increase to more than eight million a year by 2030. Tobacco use is a risk factor for six of the eight leading causes of deaths in the world.

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