Poles warned about smoking risks
Smoking remains the biggest challenge for the public health service in Poland, the country’s health ministry said on Sunday, warning people about the risks from cigarettes on World No Tobacco Day.
The costs to society resulting from smoking approach PLN 1 billion (EUR 220 million, USD 250 million) a year, under the most optimistic estimates, the ministry said.
It added that more than a quarter of Polish adults were smokers, 31 percent of men and 21 percent of women.
The health ministry warned that tobacco smoke contains about 70 carcinogenic chemicals, many of them toxic to the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
Smoking leads to premature deaths by causing diseases such as lung cancer, head and neck cancers, atherosclerosis, heart disease and strokes, in addition to respiratory problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the health ministry also said.
About 70,000 people die in Poland every year due to tobacco-related diseases, accounting for about 17 percent of all deaths in the country, the health ministry added.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation warned that „smokers may be more vulnerable to a severe case of COVID-19” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
A public awareness campaign last year warned Poles over claims that e-cigarettes are less harmful and addictive than conventional tobacco.