Smoking: The facts


Despite it being against the law, levels of smoking are unacceptably high in children. The most recent survey of Scottish schoolchildren (Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey - SALSUS) estimates that 3% of 13-year-olds and 13% of 15-year-olds were regular smokers.

This is particularly worrying as the longer a person smokes, the more likely it is that they will die from a smoking-related disease.

Smoking’s impact on public health is huge. Smoking is a leading risk factor for many debilitating and, in many cases, potentially fatal health conditions such as: lung cancerheart diseasestrokechronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Tobacco smoke contains nicotine which is highly addictive. Addiction experts have stated that nicotine is as addictive as cocaine and more addictive than heroin.

As well as nicotine, each cigarette contains more than 4,000 different chemicals many of which are toxic (harmful to the body). More than 50 of them cause cancer.