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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?

The source document for this Digest states:

Exposure data

Smoking of tobacco is practised worldwide by over one thousand million people. However, while smoking prevalence has declined in many developed countries, it remains high in others and is increasing among women and in developing countries. Between one-fifth and two-thirds of men in most populations smoke. Women's smoking rates vary more widely but rarely equal male rates.

Source & ©: IARC "  Tobacco Smoking and Tobacco Smoke, Summary of Data Reported and Evaluation"
Volume 83 - Chapter 5.1: Exposure data, 2004

1.2 In what forms is tobacco smoked?

The source document for this Digest states:

Tobacco is most commonly smoked as cigarettes, both manufactured — which are a highly sophisticated nicotine delivery system — and hand-rolled. Pipes, cigars, bidis and other products are used to a lesser extent or predominantly in particular regions. Cigarettes are made from fine-cut tobaccos which are wrapped in paper or a maize leaf. Cigars consist of cut tobacco filler formed in a binder leaf and with a wrapper leaf rolled spirally around the bunch. Bidis contain shredded tobacco wrapped in non-tobacco leaves, usually dried temburni leaves.

Source & ©: IARC "  Tobacco Smoking and Tobacco Smoke, Summary of Data Reported and Evaluation"
Volume 83 - Chapter 5.1: Exposure data, 2004

1.3 What affects exposure to tobacco?

The source document for this Digest states:

The chemical composition of tobacco smoke, although influenced by the specific manner in which individuals smoke, is primarily determined by the type of tobacco. It is also influenced by the design of the smoking device or product and, for cigarettes, by the presence or absence of filters, and by other factors including ventilation, paper porosity and types of additives. As a result, concentrations of individual chemicals in smoke vary. Analysis of the ways in which people smoke modern cigarettes shows those actual doses of nicotine, carcinogens and toxins depend on the intensity and method of smoking and have little relation to stated tar yields. The total volume of smoke drawn from cigarettes as a result of specific smoking patterns is the principal determinant of dose to the smoker. All presently available tobacco products that are smoked deliver substantial amounts of established carcinogens to their users.

The yields of tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide from cigarettes, as measured by standard machine-smoking tests, have fallen over recent decades in cigarettes sold in most parts of the world, but have remained higher in some countries. The tar and nicotine yields as currently measured are misleading and have only little value in the assessment of human exposure to carcinogens.

The regulation of smoking and smoke yields varies widely around the world in scope and degree of enforcement. Certain regulatory actions, such as taxes and workplace smoking bans, are effective in reducing smoking rates and protecting nonsmokers.

Source & ©: IARC "  Tobacco Smoking and Tobacco Smoke, Summary of Data Reported and Evaluation"
Volume 83 - Chapter 5.1: Exposure data, 2004


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