12 ways to reduce your cancer risk


icon-tobaccoDo not smoke. Do not use any form of tobacco.

Tobacco is the leading global cause of preventable illness and death.

Tobacco is the major cause of cancer. Smoking is the most harmful form of tobacco use, inducing the heaviest burden of tobacco-related illness. Cigarette smoking kills up to half of long-term users.

Each year, tobacco use causes about 6 million deaths and more than half a trillion dollars of economic damage worldwide. Tobacco will kill as many as 1 billion people this century if the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) is not implemented rapidly. In Europe, the recently revised Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU) specifies the rules controlling the production, presentation and sales of tobacco and related products, intended to harmonize differences among countries in matters of tobacco control and thus better safeguarding the public health of the population.

An overview of the damaging effects to health caused by tobacco is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Health consequences causally linked to tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke


Source: Adapted from The Health Consequences of Smoking – 50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014, with permission from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.