Smoking chimneys

6 million Number of people worldwide killed by smoking each year.  More than AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, war, murder and car accidents combined.

18%  Percentage of Canadians who still smoke, despite public health measures, such as advertising bans and restrictions on where they may smoke.

31,468,897,000 Number of cigarettes Canada’s 4.6 million smokers puffed their way through in 2013.

37,000 a year  Number of Canadians killed by smoking each year.  That’s over 100 people every day.  Many more live with chronic diseases caused by tobacco.

From 50% to 18%  Reduction in prevalence of smoking in Canada since 1965.  Efforts to reduce smoking have been successful, but the rate of change has levelled off.  Many people think we will remain at about this level unless new measures are taken.

50%  Percentage of smokers who die as a result of their addiction.  Tobacco companies need a constant supply of “replacement smokers” to fill the gap caused by the death of half their customers.  Getting children addicted while their brains are still developing, so their addiction will be stronger, is a key element of their  strategy.  Direct targeting is done through showing smoking in cartoons and movies, designing packaging that will appeal to them, and by selling flavoured e-cigarettes.

15%  The percentage by which the tobacco industry deliberately increased the amount of nicotine in cigarettes between 1997 and 2012, in order to make them as addictive as possible.

12%  Percentage of smokers who started smoking after the age of 21.  Very few people start smoking after the age of 25.  The longer we can postpone the opportunity to start legally buying cigarettes, the less likely a young person will be to take up smoking.

50%  The decrease in high school smoking in Needham, Massachusetts, when the MLA for buying tobacco was raised from 18 to 21 gradually over the years 2005-2008.

61,559,126  Number of Americans who now live in areas where you have to be 21 to buy tobacco products. This includes the whole state of California (population 38 million), as well as major cities such as New York and Boston. The population of Canada is 35 million.

One million Number of young Canadians who started to smoke in the last ten years.

500,000 Number of them who will die early from smoking-related diseases.