Tobacco: The harmful effects of tobacco smoke on the lungs

Tobacco: The harmful effects of tobacco smoke on the lungs

Tobacco is one of the greatest health threats the world has ever faced. It is estimated to have killed 100 million people in the twentieth century and could kill 1 billion in the twenty-first century, if left unchecked

Tobacco, used in the manner it is intended, causes a terrible toll of disease, death, and despair.

Nicotine, the main psychoactive component of tobacco, is one of the most potent known addicting substances. More than 70% of smokers want to quit, yet fewer than 3% quit and remain abstinent with a given attempt. The addictive nature of nicotine is why tobacco experts strongly oppose the unregulated use of electronic cigarettes, a form of nicotine delivery.

Tobacco not only inflicts its harm on smokers, but passive smoke inhalation also affects millions of people leading to death and disease.

It is never too late to quit tobacco

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Quitting tobacco has the potential to reverse some of the damage done by tobacco smoke to the lungs, but not all. Early cessation is therefore essential to preventing the onset of chronic lung disease, which is irreversible once developed. Within just 2 weeks of quitting tobacco, lung function increases.

FIRS committed to tobacco advocacy

The Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) is committed to advocacy and action related to tobacco control. FIRS has produced the following campaigns, press releases and position statements: