Lung cancer is the leading cause of death due to cancer in Canada as well as in Newfoundland and Labrador. Smoking tobacco is the single most important preventable cause of lung cancer, accounting for 85% of all new cases of lung cancer in Canada.
Smoking tobacco can lead to respiratory and upper digestive tract cancers, particularly cancer of the mouth, throat (pharynx), voice box (larynx) and esophagus. Research also indicates that smoking tobacco is a contributing cause of leukemia and cancers of the bladder, stomach, kidney and pancreas. Female smokers are at greater risk for developing cervical cancer.
17% of deaths in Newfoundland and Labrador are related to tobacco use. The leading causes of death are chronic diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and lung disease. Based on mortality rates documented by Statistics Canada for 2009-2012, this translates to the deaths of 14-16 people every week.
For every smoking-related death, another 20 people suffer with a smoking-related disease. (CDC, 2013)
Worldwide, tobacco use causes more than 5 million deaths per year, and current trends show that tobacco use will cause more than 8 million deaths annually by 2030.
On average, smokers die 13 to 14 years earlier than non-smokers.