World No Tobacco Day
World No Tobacco Day is observed every year on 31st May; the World Health Organization (WHO) created it in 1987. The number of smokers in the world is not decreasing as quickly as hoped, according to the WHO. Austria is well above the EU average: every fourth person aged over 15 smokes every day.
Cardiovascular diseases are the most common causes of death. In addition there is high blood pressure, heart failure, heart attack, medical conditions of the arteries as well as strokes. In 2016 33,248 people altogether died of these in Austria. Smoking and passive smoking are responsible for 12% of deaths from cardiovascular diseases and are one cause of cardiovascular diseases that is avoidable.
There is however some very good news.
· Stopping smoking considerably lowers the likelihood of dying from the consequences of smoking and is worth doing at any age.
· Two years after stopping smoking ex-smokers have almost the same risk of getting cardiovascular diseases as non-smokers.
From 1st January 2019 in Austria the age limit for smoking is being raised from 16 to 18 in all federal states except Upper Austria. This will also apply to bars and cafés where young people will in future not be able to sit in the separated smoking areas (accessible to the over 18’s).