More than 650,000 Europeans are killed every year because they smoke, which equates to one in seven deaths across the EU. In fact, half of all smokers will die from their habit, and will lose on average 14 years of their life-span.
Over 13 million people suffer from a serious chronic disease as a result of smoking.
Smoking harms nearly every organ within the human body, and more diseases are attributed to smoking each year.
Not only does smoking kill, but it also severely impairs the quality of life of many people.
Tobacco smoking is the most common cause of respiratory diseases.
Smokers have a six-times greater risk of developing COPD and a 10-times greater risk of lung cancer than nonsmokers.
A total of 80–90% of deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are due to tobacco smoking.
Lung cancer is the most common cause of death from cancer worldwide and smoking.
As smoking is the major cause of lung cancer, COPD and other respiratory and non-respiratory diseases, it is responsible for huge costs to society.
In 1996, in Germany, the total healthcare costs directly linked to tobacco use were calculated to be as high as €16.6 billion.
The money raised from duties and taxes on the production and sale of tobacco products does not cover all the health costs resulting directly or indirectly from tobacco-related diseases.
"In 2000, for every 1,000 EU citizens who smoke, one was murdered, seven were killed in road crashes, but 500 died from smoking"