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Cigarettes – 10 Facts you don’t know about it

Updated on June 24, 2011

1. The first cigarettes have been attested in Central America around 9th century. Maya and Aztecs frequently smoked cigarettes in religious rituals. Smoking was an important part of their culture, attested by the fact that many of their statues or sculptures are representing people who smoke.

2. More then 5 trillion cigarettes are produced and smoked annually by 1.1 billions people (more then one sixth of global population). From those, around half are produced and distributed around the world by only 7 companies .

3. Largest cigarettes market is China, with an estimate consume of 2.2 trillion cigarettes consumed by 350 million people.

4. Cigarettes market is a very important taxes source for government around the world. Each year about 400 billions USD are collected from this market. That means almost 2% from total amount of taxes collected each year in the world.

5. The active substance that gave users dependence is nicotine. However, tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 different chemicals. From it, at least 50 are known carcinogens (cause cancer in humans).

6. Cigarettes are one of the principal health issues. 5 million people die each year around the world because of smoking. Current rate of smoking suggests that this number will double until 2020.The smokers experience high rates of lung, oral and throat cancer and heart disease. There are estimations that, on average, a smoker have a life expectancy shorter by 14 years then a non-smoker.

7. Cigarettes are the most frequent source of fires in private homes. According to a study made by European Union in 16 European countries, 11,000 fires were due to cigarettes between 2005 and 2007. They caused 520 deaths and 1,600 people injured. Because of that Union European legislation imposed that from 2011 only fire safe cigarettes are to be commercialized in countries under its jurisdiction.

8. King George VI, Sigmund Freud, Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart or Babe Ruth, all of them as many others celebrities died from illnesses developed from smoking. Ironically enough, Wayne McLaren, the famous cowboy from Marlboro posters and cigarettes packs died at age 51 by lung cancer caused by cigarettes smoking.

9. After 1970 governments around the world started to conduct a health inclined politics with more and more restriction for cigarettes industry. That implied multiple measures as forbidden commercials for tobacco consume, forcing the producers to place warnings about health issues, banning smoke in public places and conducted public campaigns in order to inform peoples about risks associated with smoking and raising taxes. It is estimated that an increase of 10% in taxation lead to a 6% reduction in smoker numbers.

10. Since 2006 in Europe was brought in Europe a new concept called electronic cigarette. This is a device which provides a flavor and physical sensation similar to that of inhaled tobacco smoke, while no smoke or flame actually involved in its operation. This was commercialized as a safe alternative for normal cigarettes which should greatly help in smoking cessation. Still, in 2008 World Health Association stated that it doesn’t consider this to be a legitimate tool in smoking cessation and demanded marketers to remove from their materials any suggestion about it.


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    • greengypsywolf1 profile image

      greengypsywolf1 7 years ago from The darkest corner of my own insanity.

      I switched to E cig's myself.

    • Catalin79 profile image

      Catalin79 7 years ago from Bucuresti

      Oh, happy to hear that; have a great day.

    • Petra Vlah profile image

      Petra Vlah 7 years ago from Los Angeles

      Oh, but I am not upset, dear; it is only 5 a.m. in the morning here and I prefer to start my day with a cup of coffee and a cigaret rather than the fear of what may happen if...

      I got your point and the hub is really great; I was just being sarcastic and my sarcasm was in no way directed at you. The campaign against smoking got out of control, that's all. Alcohol and drugs cause domestic violence and traffic accidents, but everybody is taking issue with smokers first. Oh, well...what can I say? People do have choices and I made one some 40 years ago.

    • Catalin79 profile image

      Catalin79 7 years ago from Bucuresti

      Sorry to upset you Petra. While I do not endorse smoking, I have absolutely nothing against smokers. Their way their will their life. About Maian, it's not about diseases, it's the first place where was first stated smoking as a habit. This is a collection of facts, if many of them point that smoking is bad for your health it is just because i couldn't really found some facts stating that smoking is good for health.

      Nevertheless you should'n take this article as an invitation to quit smoking.

    • Petra Vlah profile image

      Petra Vlah 7 years ago from Los Angeles

      Now it is official: we Romanians are direct descendents of Mayans. Do you believe that smoking contributed to the extintion of the Maya civilization?

      I am not saying that smoking may not affect some people, but putting all the blame on cigarettes is rediculous; you go to a doctor with an ear infection and he tells you is smoke related? Give me a break, doc! Even if it is, I am still not ready to give it up