The World Health Organization released a new report this week linking the annual deaths of 1.9 million people to tobacco use.
The report was published for World Heart Day by the World Heart Federation and the University of Newcastle in Australia. This is a warning about the dangers of tobacco that can lead to heart disease.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death on Earth, killing about 17.9 million people each year. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that smoking and secondhand smoke are responsible for nearly two million of these deaths.
Reudigar Krech is WHO’s Director of Health Promotion. He told the VOA that even lifelong smokers who give up their deaths habit can prevent death too early from heart attack or blow.
“It’s good news. “If tobacco users take immediate action now and quit, the risk of heart disease will be reduced by 50% after a year of not smoking,” he said. Kretsch added that the health effects of quitting smoking were immediate.
Tobacco use is the biggest threat. But other major risks for heart disease include lack of exercise, unhealthy diet, high blood pressure and cholesterol, and being overweight.
In addition, the WHO warns that high blood pressure and heart disease increase the risk of severe COVID-19. Kretsch said people were beginning to realize that smoking during a health crisis was not a good idea.
“There are about 400 million people who want to quit smoking because of COVID-19,” Kretsch said. He also said that people know they can develop harder symptoms if they smoke. Although it is not easy to quit smoking, tools like nicotine stickers are available for assistance.
However, the WHO warns against using smokeless tobacco, which is said to be linked to about 200,000 heart deaths each year. The UN Health Agency adds that e-cigarettes also raise blood pressure. High blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease, as does COVID-19.
Kretsch said governments could help people leave by supporting some simple measures. They can create smoke-free zones, ban tobacco advertising and raise taxes on tobacco products.
I’m Mario Ritter Jr.
Lisa Schlein told this story to VOANEWS. Mario Ritter Jr. adapted it for VOA Learning English. Hi Do was an editor.
Words in this story
habit -n. something that a person does repeatedly or regularly
blow -n. a serious medical condition when a blood vessel in the brain breaks or is blocked
symptom -n. a change in the body or mind that signals the presence of a disease
patch -n. a piece of material adhered to the body that holds and distributes the drug
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