Inside Story

What’s being done to repair damage done by smoking?

World Health Organization warns cigarettes kill millions annually and tobacco causes massive harm to the environment.

Seven million people – almost the entire population of Hong Kong – die every year because of smoking and ailments related to cigarette use, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

The organisation’s annual report says the industry is costly to health, economy and the environment.

The report, called Big Tobacco, adds that discarded cigarette ends and waste contain more than 7,000 toxic chemicals that poison the environment.

Cigarette butts account for up to 40 percent of all litter collected in coastal and urban clean-ups.

The report also said that between 10 to 14 percent of children in tobacco-growing families miss class because they are working in tobacco fields.

Tobacco also contributes to one in six deaths from non-communicable diseases.

So what’s needed to control the industry?

Presenter: Hazem Sika


Vinayak Mohan Prasad – Head of the WHO Tobacco Free Initiative

Hazel Cheeseman – Director of Policy at Action on Smoking and Health