Tobacco addicts millions of children to these deadly products every year. Most of those who don’t quit will die prematurely of tobacco-related diseases, such as cancer and heart disease. I watched my father struggle with his addiction right up until the day that he died of lung cancer. I couldn’t understand why he couldn’t quit. After he passed away violently before my eyes, I started looking for answers.
Tobacco is one of the most profitable industries in the world. It’s also one of the deadliest. Tobacco kills approximately six million people around the globe every year, including 443,000 Americans. Unchecked, tobacco-related deaths will increase to more than eight million a year by 2030, and 80 percent of those deaths will occur in the developing world.
Nicotine is more addictive than heroin. Seventy percent of all smokers try to quit every year, but only 10 percent succeed. Four million children under the age of 18 are regular smokers in the U.S. More than 80,000 young people around the world begin smoking every day. The average age of first tobacco use in the United States is 13.
Almost 90 percent of all smokers started their addictive habit before their 18th birthday. Tobacco companies know that they need to hook a smoker before they leave high school or they will likely lose the prospective customer forever.
Tobacco-related illnesses are the leading cause of death around the world.
Ironically, you won’t find many tobacco executives who smoke. They know better. “That’s a right we reserve for the young, poor, black and stupid,” said one tobacco executive in a closed-door meeting.