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Tobacco Active and Passive Smoking

1. What are the current trends in active tobacco smoking?

  • 1.1 How many people actively smoke tobacco?
  • 1.2 In what forms is tobacco smoked?
  • 1.3 What affects exposure to tobacco?

1.1 How many people actively smoke tobacco?

Over one thousand million people worldwide smoke tobacco. The percentage of smokers has declined in many developed countries but is increasing in developing countries. In most populations, 20 to 66% of men smoke. Even though the share of women who smoke is increasing, this percentage is generally lower than among men. More...

1.2 In what forms is tobacco smoked?

Tobacco is most commonly smoked as manufactured or hand-rolled cigarettes. Other products, such as pipes, cigars and bidis are used less commonly or predominantly in particular regions. More...

1.3 What affects exposure to tobacco?

All current tobacco products expose smokers to carcinogens. The composition of tobacco smoke depends on the type of tobacco, the design of the smoking device, the presence of filters (in the case of cigarettes) and other factors (paper porosity, types of additives, ventilation, etc).

The yields of tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide from cigarettes have fallen over recent decades in most parts of the world. However, the amounts of tar and nicotine released by cigarettes are not helpful in assessing actual exposure to carcinogens in tobacco smoke. The actual doses of nicotine, carcinogens and toxins smokers are exposed to depend on the total volume of smoke drawn from cigarettes, which is determined by smoking intensity and method. More...

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