Smoking and Health

What’s in Tobacco Smoke

Tobacco smoke is made up of over 7000 chemical compounds, including 70 known carcinogens, such as formaldehyde, total oxidized nitrogen, hydrogen cyanide, cadmium and other heavy metals.


Passive Smoking

Passive smoking is the inhalation of side-stream tobacco smoke produced by other people who actively smoke near us. This includes but is not limited to, cigarettes, rolled cigarettes, cigars, pipes and water-pipe smoking but also from novel products such as electronic cigarettes.


Active Smoking

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco causes over 6 million premature deaths every year. It is estimated that it causes 71% of lung cancers, 42% of chronic respiratory diseases and 10% of cardiovascular diseases making it the single most important preventable cause of disease.


Smoking and Pregnancy

Smoking causes complications during pregnancy and childbirth as well as adverse health outcomes of neonates and children. Smoking during pregnancy increases incidence of placenta previa, abruptio placentae, ectopic pregnancy and premature rupture of the membranes and preterm labour.


Smoking and Public Health

According to the World Health Organization smoking is classified as a disease in the International Classification of Disease-10 and is considered the biggest epidemic of our time. Smoking causes cardiovascular disease, cancers and COPD, which are among the top 10 causes of death among high-income countries, including Greece.


Economic Burden of Smoking

According to World Bank, the cost of smoking-related health care is between 0.1 -1.1% of the country’s GDP. In 2016, Greece’s GDP was 288 418 million $US. It is therefore estimated that ~288 -3,172 million US dollars are spent every year on healthcare costs of diseases related to smoking in Greece.



The SMOKEFREEGREECE initiative, established in 2009 for tobacco prevention with an emphasis in the school community, does not in any capacity, hold any obligation or relation to any funders, institutions, persons, or initiatives with similar names and/or scope. Does not have any financial, ideological, social relationship or collaboration with any industry related to the manufacturing, production, distribution or promotion of tobacco and/or other novel tobacco products.

The SMOKEFREEGREECE initiative is fully funded by the Behrakis Foundation Boston MA and is supported by the NGO Hellenic Cancer Society and the Educational Institution, The American College of Greece.

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