In the context of the World No Tobacco Day, the ministry has launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the damages caused by smoking: "Don't let tobacco take your breath away."
8 million people die annually because of tobacco around the world, the Ministry of Health reports, with more than 1.2 million being non-smokers. Tobacco thereby ranks number 1 worldwide among early and avoidable causes of death. In Luxembourg, around 1,000 people die annually of tobacco-related diseases.
90% of lung cancer cases can be traced back to the consumption of tobacco. The same goes for 80% of other chronic lung diseases and impairments. Moreover, smoking increases the risks of developing cancer in other parts of the body, like the tongue, the larynx, or the vocal cords. Children that have to endure increased exposure to tobacco smoke often develop respiratory infections on a regular basis. The WHO has also issued a statement regarding the dangers of Covid-19, and how smokers can be more susceptible to develop complications when contracting the virus.
According to the Ministry of Health, the first benefits of abandoning smoking will already show after a period of 48 hours. The body's oxygen capacities improve almost straight away, while the risk of having a heart attack can be halved within a year's time. After 20 years of becoming a non-smoker, the body has fully recovered and can be compared to that of somebody who never picked up the bad habit.
People that are interested in giving up smoking are invited to consult the following website by the ministry for advice.