Non Communicable Diseases & Smoking

Non-communicable diseases— especially cancer, heart disease, chronic lung disease and diabetes, have overtaken infectious diseases as the world’s leading killers and now cause nearly two out of every three deaths worldwide. Eighty percent of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, straining health care systems, contributing to poverty and posing a major barrier to development.

Tobacco use is the only risk factor shared by all four main categories of non communicable diseases. Tobacco accounts for nearly one in six deaths from non communicable diseases and kills nearly six million people worldwide each year.

The rise of chronic non-communicable diseases presents public health with an enormous challenge. For some countries, it is no exaggeration to describe the situation as an impending disaster.



People have died from tobacco-related diseases in Africa since the opening of the first FCTC working group on 28 October 1999.

More about the Death Clock...

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