By: Mariam Elhamy

“Smoking Kills” – we’ve heard it a million times and we’ve seen it everywhere, but does it actually change the way we think about smoking? Here are some interesting facts we bet you didn’t know about smoking that will blow you away!

Did you know that in Egypt, there are 34,000 tobacco-related deaths each year according to statistics by CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports? On a global scale, around 5.4 million deaths a year are caused by tobacco use. According to statistics by the state-run Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics, in 2013 the number of smokers in Egypt reached 13 million people out of a population of 90 million!

In Egypt, nearly 60% of men use tobacco in some form, according to the World Health Organization. Egyptian smokers spend 8 billion pounds annually on smoking, constituting 22% of the monthly income per individual.
As for shisha, most people think they are less harmful than cigarettes … however, “one hour with a water pipe is equivalent to something between 100 and 200 cigarettes,” said Dr. Fatima el-Awa from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) regional office.

21 (Nasty) Facts about Smoking

  1. 19 billion cigarettes are smoked annually in Egypt, making it the largest market in the Arab world.
  2. Smokers, on average, lose 10 years of their life.
  3. Sugar makes up almost 20% of a cigarette.
  4. 9 kilos of aubergine contains as much nicotine as a cigarette.
  5. Smoking near Apple computers voids the warranty.
  6. Smoking makes breasts sag faster than normal because it breaks down a protein in the skin called elastin which provides youthful skin and supports the breast.
  7. Urea, the main ingredient in urine, is added to cigarettes to enhance their flavor.
  8. Exposure to second-hand smoke causes nearly 50,000 deaths each year in the U.S. alone.
  9. More than 2,500 deaths of babies under the age of one year are attributed to smoking by mothers.
  10. 60% of children who smoke start by the age of 14. More than 3,000 children start smoking every day!
  11. Children who smoke are 15 times more likely than non-smokers to use narcotic drugs.
  12. The tobacco industry spends almost 4 billion dollars per year to promote smoking, more than is spent advertising and promoting any other product.
  13. Among 1,000 young men who smoke: • 1 Will be murdered • 6 will die in traffic accidents • 250 will die from smoking-related diseases.
  14. 80% of the world’s smokers live in low to medium-income countries.
  15. Tobacco use kills more than the total number killed by AIDS, alcohol, motor vehicles, homicide, illegal drugs and suicide combined. Even if the number of smoking deaths were cut in half, smoking would still kill more people than all of these other causes!
  16. A typical cigarette contains 8 to 9 milligrams of nicotine. By contrast, the nicotine content in a cigar accounts for 100 milligrams to 400 milligrams.
  17. One shisha smoking session delivers 25 times the tar of a single cigarette.
  18. Radioactive lead, polonium, and hydrogen cyanide can all be found in cigarette smoke. In gaseous form, cyanide is used in pesticides to exterminate rats and other undesirable vermin.
  19. About 1.69 billion pounds of cigarette butts end up as toxic trash each year, making cigarettes the most littered item on Earth.
  20. Globally, tobacco use has claimed more than 100 million lives in the 20th century.  It is expected to claim another billion during the 21st century unless serious anti-smoking efforts are made on a global scale.
  21. Smoking a cigarette causes damage in minutes, not years.

Facts about quitting smoking

  1. Each year about 1.3 million smokers quit.
  2. The first No Smoking Day was on Ash Wednesday in 1984!
  3. There are now more Australians who have quit smoking than there are Australians who smoke.
  4. Among every day smokers, 16.6% quit smoking. Of the people who quit smoking over the past twelve months 41.1% had made an attempt to quit and 17.9% actually proved successful in quitting (WHO).
  5. Twelve hours after stopping, almost all nicotine is out of your system. In about 5 days, most nicotine by-products have gone. Within 2 months of quitting, the blood flow to your hands and feet improves.

Successful people who quit smoking

  1. Former president Barack Obama began smoking as a teenager and has discussed his addiction as a lifetime battle.
  2. Now a health enthusiast, Gwyneth Paltrow was an avid smoker in her teenage years. She smoked two packs a day and even her father’s death from cancer in 2002 didn’t dissuade her from smoking. Paltrow finally kicked the habit when she found out she was pregnant with her first daughter.
  3. The film and television star Jennifer Aniston was a chain smoker for years before undergoing an extreme cleanse in 2007. Aniston attributes her success in quitting to her involvement in yoga. She exercises regularly and eats healthfully to rid her body of caffeine and nicotine.
  4.  Comedy actor Paul Rudd quit smoking with the help a hypnotherapy-based smoking cessation program developed by the Los Angeles hypnotherapist Kerry Gaynor.
  5. Matt Damon puffed for years until he made an appointment with a Los Angeles hypnotist. After three sessions, Damon said, his smoking cravings were gone for good.
  6. The Academy Award-winning actor, whose movies include The Silence of the Lambs, Hitchcock, and Red 2, Anthony Hopkins officially quit smoking decades ago, but he has admitted that he still feels occasional cravings for a cigarette or a cigar. To avoid a smoking slip, Hopkins seeks the help of a book written by the late anti-smoking advocate Allen Carr (The Easy Way to Stop Smoking).
  7. Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron was smoking up to three packs a day to cope with stress, according to the British newspaper The Mirror. After several attempts to quit, Theron has reportedly stopped smoking with the aid of hypnotherapy and by practicing yoga and Pilates.
  8. Whoopi Goldberg, has been trying to promote quitting smoking and shares how much her life has changed ever since she quit in a community of support she has developed on Twitter to help with smoking cessation.
  9. “The whole week that I shot, I smoked, like, five packs a day,” Ben Affleck told People magazine in 2007. “By the time the movie was over, I was so sick of smoking, I just didn’t want to do it anymore, and I quit.”
  10. Katherine Heigl quit with the help of electronic cigarettes, a controversial smoking cessation tool.

Get help and support!

Osana Wellness is hosting an event that can help smokers kick the habit for good: Hypnotherapy to Quit Smoking with Louisa Kiernander 

Join a group for support online:
Quit Smoking Support Group

Oasis Clinics offers a Smoking Cessation Program:
Contact them for more details

Try a free download of Allen Carr’s books:
Click here for the free download