The tobacco industry is enormous, and it often tries to portray smoking as a harmless pastime activity. However, a vast number of studies and surveys can discredit these efforts. On top of that, the stats show that the consumption of tobacco-based products is in a steady decline.
So is smoking on its last legs? Are we ever going to live in a smoke-free world?
As always, it’s best to look for answers in stone-cold facts. For instance, an extensive study has revealed that tobacco use dropped by 5% in the last five years. Moreover, the rates have started going down ever since the 1980s. At the time, the number of young people who were smoking was at 32%. During the 90s, the rate dropped to 26%. From the 2000s onwards, the number of smokers in the US has stayed at around 24%.
On the other hand, it is clear to see that smoking has a strong presence in popular culture. Movies and TV shows often portray smoking as cool and courageous, forgetting about the harmful effects of nicotine.
When it comes to side-effects, they can be life-threatening. To illustrate this fact, it’s enough to mention that 90% of deaths caused by lung cancer listed “smoking” as the primary trigger. Even though the main cause of the illness is easily preventable, lung cancer takes more than 480.000 lives per year in America alone.
Likewise, secondhand smoking claims more than 41.000 lives every year. In total, health organizations estimate that smoking-related death cases in the 20th century amount to more than 100 million!
And yet, smoking remains a part of our everyday life. We are surrounded by clouds of smoke, even though nicotine dependency is a well-documented condition. Prolonged use of tobacco can increase the chances of lung cancer, heart attack, or stroke. Also, cigarette use can reduce sperm count and cause type 2 diabetes.
As it seems, people are starting to take notice of these facts. According to surveys, as many as 68% of smokers in the US admit that they have a strong desire to quit. But they are unable to resist, or they experience severe nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Either way, it is essential to share awareness and warn people about the adverse effects of smoking.