Taking action on smoking and health
New figures released by ASH Scotland and the Scottish Public Health Observatory on World No Tobacco Day show that 2,038 people died due to cardiovascular problems caused by smoking in 2016 (the most recent year for which data was available). The statistics show the true toll smoking takes on Scots every day.
In 2016 around 1,263 men and 774 women died of smoking-related heart disease, 13.6% of all circulatory disease-related deaths in Scotland. This figure understates the extent of smoking-related illness as it only includes deaths – not smoking related hypertension and other health problems.
World No Tobacco Day falls on Thursday 31 May 2018, and this year’s theme is “tobacco breaks hearts”. Smoking is one of the biggest causes of cardiovascular and circulatory disease, including heart disease and stroke, and most smoking-related deaths are due to heart problems. However, many people think of tobacco as only damaging to the lungs.
Professor David Newby, British Heart Foundation John Wheatley Professor of Cardiology at the University of Edinburgh, said:
“These figures are shocking but sadly not surprising. Everyone knows smoking harms your lungs, but it can come as a surprise that it’s even worse for your heart. Most deaths from smoking are caused by heart and circulatory problems, not lung disease or cancer. Smoking can break your heart.”
ASH Scotland Chief Executive Sheila Duffy said:
“This World No Tobacco Day we want to let people know there’s real help available to stop smoking for good. Phone Quit Your Way Scotland on 0800 84 84 84 or go to www.quityourway.scot for the best expert advice, and to find a way to quit that works for you.
“With smoking rates static in Scotland, we need to see real action to save lives and prevent the heartbreak that cigarettes cause. That’s why we’re calling on the Scottish Government to maintain and inflation-proof the tobacco budget over the next five years.”
For further information please contact ASH Scotland on 0131 225 4725 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Out of hours mobile 07776 142 299
Notes for Editors
Smoking attributable fractions were provided by the Scottish Public Health Observatory (ScotPHO) using the methodology detailed in “Smoking attributable deaths in Scotland”. Smoking rates have remained broadly static in Scotland since 2013, according to the Scottish Health Survey.
Video interviews with Prof Newby and Sheila Duffy are available online. To embed them on your own site, please contact us.
Action on Smoking & Health (Scotland) (ASH Scotland) is a registered Scottish charity (SC 010412) and a company limited by guarantee(Scottish company no 141711). The registered office is 8 Frederick Street, Edinburgh EH2 2HB.
ASH Scotland acknowledges with thanks the support of the British Heart Foundation and the Scottish Government in developing our website.