According to the Word Health Organisation (WHO), tobacco use kills more than 7 million people around the world each year, and that number is predicted to grow unless anti-tobacco actions are increased. It causes many types of cancer, as well as heart disease, stroke, lung disease, and other health problems and is the largest preventable cause of death and disease in the Western World.
The focus of World No Tobacco Day 2018 is “Tobacco and heart disease.” Despite the known harms of tobacco to heart health, and the availability of “Quit Smoking” programs to reduce related death and disease, knowledge among large sections of the public that tobacco is one of the leading causes of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is low. Many people know that a diet high in saturated fats leads to atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, but rarely consider smoking to play a leading role, along with diet, to cause CVD.
According to WHO:
- CVD kills more people than any other cause of death worldwide.
- Tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure contribute to about 12% of deaths from heart disease.
- Tobacco use is the second leading cause of CVD, after high blood pressure.
Fortunately, evidence shows that heart disease can be prevented and even reversed by quitting smoking and following a low fat nutritious diet.