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Today is World Smokefree Day – 31 May

Why are we talking about this on our life insurance blog?

Because smoking kills

… and on average you’ll pay 20% to 50% more for your life insurance policy if you’re a smoker. So if you are a smoker… please just think about it…

World Smokefree Day was first held by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1988, and first observed nationally in New Zealand in 1998. World Smokefree Day is an opportunity for smokefree promoters and advocates to work collaboratively to reduce smoking.

Smoking facts

  • Tobacco is the only consumer product that kills people when used as the manufacturer intends.

  • Half of all continuing smokers will die from smoking – an average of 14 years early.

  • Tobacco smoking kills around 4,700 New Zealanders every year.

  • Globally, 1.1 billion people smoke. Each year tobacco causes some four million early deaths.

  • By the year 2030, tobacco is likely to be the world’s leading cause of death and disability, killing more than 10 million people annually and claiming more lives than HIV, tuberculosis, motor vehicle accidents, suicide and homicide combined.

  • Smoking causes deaths from lung cancer, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, heart disease and stroke.

  • Smoking causes one in four of all cancer deaths in New Zealand.

Second-hand smoke

  • Second-hand smoke is a mixture of smoke breathed out by the smoker (mainstream smoke) and smoke released from the lit cigarette (sidestream smoke).

  • It is the leading environmental cause of preventable death in New Zealand.

  • Around 350 New Zealanders are killed by other people’s tobacco smoke each year.

  • A lit cigarette is like a little toxic waste dump on fire. Second-hand smoke contains acetone (paint stripper), ammonia (toilet cleaner), cyanide (rat killer), DDT (insecticide) and carbon monoxide (car exhaust fumes).

  • Second-hand smoke has been shown to cause coronary heart disease, lung cancer, acute stroke, eye and nasal irritation and nasal and sinus cancer.

The above information has been sourced from SmokeFree NZ. Further information is available from the publication Myths & Facts of Tobacco Control[pdf].

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