Smoking is a chronic disease caused by addiction to nicotine and permanent exposure to more than 7,000 chemical, toxic and carcinogenic substances. For the WHO (World Health Organization), it is the number one cause of death in developed countries and the main cause of years of life lost and/or lived with disability.
In Argentina, around 14% of the deaths that occur are related to smoking, according to a report by the University Hospital Network of the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) launched in the framework of the commemoration of the World Day without Tobacco.
Every May 31, we seek to raise awareness about the importance of cigarette consumption. According to the WHO, this epidemic kills up to half of the people who use tobacco. In Argentina, “despite the fact that in recent years tobacco use has decreased by 25%, it generates 45,000 deaths a year,” said Dr. Diego Sanchez Gelós, coordinator of the Smoking Cessation Program at the Hospital de Clínicas de la UBA.
Tobacco and heart disease
“Heart disease causes about 10,000 deaths a year, COPD, 7,800 and cancer, 12,700. All of them are attributable to tobacco consumption”, stated Dr. Iris Boyeras Navarro, a pulmonologist at the A. Roffo Institute of Oncology. In addition, she warned that the age of initiation of consumption is increasingly younger. As revealed by the specialist, tobacco consumption on average begins between the ages of 11 and 13.
Regarding those who share closed spaces with people who smoke, the specialists indicated that they are exposed to at least 70 carcinogenic substances. According to Dr. Patricia Aruj, clinical physician and pulmonologist at the Alfredo Lanari Institute of the UBA, tobacco smoke is responsible for the death of 6,000 Argentines per year.
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