Skip to main content block


    Tobacco Hazard to Human Body Print
      Update Time:2019-08-28 11:31

    Most of the top ten leading causes of death including cancer, heart disease, stroke, and chronic pulmonary disease, etc. in Taiwan are associated with smoking. At least 20,000 people have died from tobacco hazard annually, suggesting that 1 person has lost his/her life to tobacco hazard every 25 minutes on average. The《Tobacco Atlas》published by the American Cancer Society (ACS) at 2013 indicated that among the 800 million male smokers worldwide, approximately 20% of them were from high-income countries, and the rest 80% were from medium-to-low income countries; While in about the 200 million female smokers, 50% of them were from high-income countries and the other 50% were from medium-to-low income countries. According to the global statistics, approximately 80% of lung cancer mortality in males and 50% in females were caused by smoking.

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO) statistics in 2013, the global overview of non-communicable disease (NCD) distribution demonstrated that NCD has become the top leading cause of death worldwide and about 63% of death was associated with NCD. Fortunately, most of the NCDs are preventable. As smoking is the primary risk factor contributing to NCD death worldwide, tobacco hazard prevention and control has become the prioritized preventive measures of death. Starting from 2002, the number of global death caused by tobacco hazards has increased almost 3 folds, suggesting that averagely 6 million people have died of tobacco hazards worldwide in each year (i.e. 1 has died of tobacco hazards every 5.3 second), and the average life among tobacco users has decreased by approximately 15 years. If the tobacco hazard failed to be confined, 8 million people will die of smoking-related diseases annually by 2030. In fact, smoking has resulted in 100 million deaths in 20th century and expected 1 billion deaths in 21st century. In reality, smoking almost harms to every organ in the body. Even it may not result in death directly, smoking definitely has somewhat negative impacts on the quality of life (QOL) to the smokers. (e.g. short of breath, inconvenience at work, etc.)

    Smoking is one of the main carcinogenic factors, tobacco consists of more than 7,000 chemicals and compounds. Hundreds of them are toxic and at least 93 components are known carcinogens. According to WHO, primary risk factors such as tobacco, alcohol, unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle and obesity have accounted for 30% of cancer mortality. About 60% of top five leading cancers in Taiwan (i.e. colorectal cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer and oral cancer) are associated with the aforementioned carcinogens. For example, tobacco use and secondhand smoke are major contributors to lung cancer, where smoking, drinking and betel nuts chewing are closely associated with oral and esophageal cancers.

    At least 22% of cancers were caused by tobacco hazards. WHO has indicated that the incidence of lung cancer among people cohabiting with tobacco users were 20%-30% higher than that of general public. Moreover, long-term secondhand smoke exposure not only results in or aggravates the respiratory diseases in children, but also is closely associated with pediatric leukemia, lymphoma, brain-central nervous system lesions, and hepatoblastoma, etc. The primary carcinogenic component in tobacco is tar, which may contribute to lung cancer, oral cancer, laryngeal cancer, pharyngeal cancer, bladder cancer and esophageal cancer directly, and result in neck cancer, leukemia (myeloid leukemia), gastric cancer, liver cancer, renal cancer, pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer, and cervical cancer etc. indirectly.