As smokers, we learn early on to put up a mental wall of denial between our smoking habit and the harsh reality of the damage we’re inflicting on ourselves with every cigarette smoked.
We tell ourselves lies that allow us smoke with some level of comfort. We say we have time to quit…that cancer doesn’t run in our family…that we can quit any time we want to…that the bad things happen to other people. And because smoking is typically a slow killer, those lies support the framework of our wall of denial for years and years.
Eventually though, most smokers find that the wall begins to crumble, and bit by bit, smoking becomes a fearful, anxious activity. This is when most smokers start seriously thinking about how they might find a way to quit smoking for good.
A crucial step in the recovery process from nicotine addiction involves breaking through that wall of denial to put smoking in the proper light. We need to learn to see our cigarettes not as the friend or buddy we can’t live without, but as the horrific killers they truly are.
If you’re thinking that it’s time to quit smoking, or have just quit and need some motivation to keep going, use the smoking facts below to fuel the fire in your belly that will help you beat your smoking habit, once and for all.
Smoking Facts and Tobacco Statistics
1) There are 1.1 billion smokers in the world today, and if current trends continue, that number is expected to increase to 1.6 billion by the year 2025.
2) China is home to 300 million smokers who consume approximately 1.7 trillion cigarettes a year, or 3 million cigarettes a minute.
3) Worldwide, approximately 10 million cigarettes are purchased a minute, 15 billion are sold each day, and upwards of 5 trillion are produced and used on an annual basis.
4) Five trillion cigarette filters weigh approximately 2 billion pounds.
5) It’s estimated that trillions of filters, filled with toxic chemicals from tobacco smoke, make their way into our environment as discarded waste yearly.
6) While they may look like white cotton, cigarette filters are made of very thin fibers of a plastic called cellulose acetate. A cigarette filter can take between 18 months and 10 years to decompose.
7) A typical manufactured cigarette contains approximately 8 or 9 milligrams of nicotine, while the nicotine content of a cigar is 100 to 200 milligrams, with some as high as 400 milligrams.
8)There is enough nicotine in four or five cigarettes to kill an average adult if ingested whole. Most smokers take in only one or two milligrams of nicotine per cigarette however, with the remainder being burned off.
9) Ambergris, otherwise known as whale vomit is one of the hundreds of possible additives used in manufactured cigarettes.
10) Benzene is a known cause of acute myeloid leukemia, and cigarette smoke is a major source of benzene exposure. Among U.S. smokers, 90 percent of benzene exposures come from cigarettes.
11) Radioactive lead and polonium are both present in low levels in cigarette smoke.
12) Hydrogen cyanide, one of the toxic byproducts present in cigarette smoke, was used as a genocidal chemical agent during World War II.
13) Secondhand smoke contains more than 50 cancer-causing chemical compounds, 11 of which are known to be Group 1 carcinogens.
14) The smoke from a smoldering cigarette often contains higher concentrations of the toxins found in cigarette smoke than exhaled smoke does.
15) Kids are still picking up smoking at the alarming rate of 3,000 a day in the U.S., and 80,000 to 100,000 a day worldwide.
16) Worldwide, one in five teens age 13 to 15 smoke cigarettes.
17) Approximately one quarter of the youth alive in the Western Pacific Region (East Asia and the Pacific) today will die from tobacco use.
18) Half of all long-term smokers will die a tobacco-related death.
19) Every eight seconds, a human life is lost to tobacco use somewhere in the world. That translates to approximately 5 million deaths annually.
20) Tobacco use is expected to claim one billion lives this century unless serious anti-smoking efforts are made on a global level.
Tobacco offers us a life of slavery, a host of chronic, debilitating illnesses and ultimately death. And think about it: We pay big bucks for those “benefits.” Sad, but true.
Take your life back!
If you’re a smoker wishing you could quit, make your mind up to dig your heels in and do the work necessary to get this monkey off your back now. You’ll never regret it.
By Terry Martin