Health topics



Tobacco use is one of the world's leading preventable causes of death and contributes significantly to the risks for noncommunicable diseases like cancer, lung and heart disease. Exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke is also harmful to health, causing an estimated 600,000 deaths globally each year. In the Western Pacific Region it is estimated that two people die every minute from tobacco-related disease, and half of all women and children are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke at home and in public places. The most common type of tobacco product used is manufactured cigarettes, but tobacco is also chewed, sucked or snuffed. Tobacco tax as a percentage of retail price is still relatively low in many parts of the region.