Why do so many people smoke cigarettes

Light and heavy smokers

"Smoking can be fatal" - with a black border and clearly legible, this slogan on the cigarette pack catches the eye of anyone who picks it up. And yet the addiction to the smoldering stick is apparently unbroken, despite the enormous price increases in recent years.

How many people smoke?
In Germany, over a quarter of the population over the age of 14 smokes. At 31%, the proportion of smokers among men is slightly higher than among women (25%). Half of the men who smoke and about a third of the women who smoke are heavy smokers (more than 20 cigarettes a day). Germany thus occupies an inglorious top position in the EU. In the last 25 years the smoking rate in Germany has fallen by around 4% among men, but has increased by the same percentage value among women. The average age at which people smoked regularly for the first time remains unchanged between 13 and 14 years of age.

Heavy smokers versus casual smokers
A total of around 20 million people between the ages of 18 and 59 smoke in Germany. 25% of adults (35% of men, 22% of women) smoke regularly, another 4% describe themselves as occasional smokers. It is true that more and more smokers have stopped smoking in recent years. However, there is a "hard core" of smokers who have been smoking a lot of cigarettes for many years and who claim they cannot or will not quit. 21% of male smokers and 12% of women smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day, almost 2% of men and almost 1% of women even over 40 cigarettes. These people are of course even more at risk from smoking-related illnesses than the average smoker. Lung cancer patients almost always belong to the group of heavily dependent smokers.

Health consequences
Cigarette smoking leads to more deaths in Germany than AIDS, alcohol, illegal drugs, traffic accidents, murders and suicides combined. Every year in Germany up to 140,000 people die of cancer, cardiovascular or lung diseases that can be traced back to tobacco consumption. Lung diseases caused by smoking are among the top ten causes of death worldwide. These include chronic obstructive bronchitis with or without emphysema (COPD) and lung cancer. COPD is already the fourth leading cause of death in Europe. It is estimated that it will even be the third most common in the world by 2020.

More and more women smoke
Since the mid-1990s, cigarette consumption has increased, especially among young women. The proportion of women smokers among the 12 to 17 year old girls rose from 16% in 1993 to 35% in 2004. In Germany, young girls are increasingly turning to cigarettes, especially in the new federal states. Their share has doubled in the last 8 years! However, the total proportion of smokers over the age of 15 has not changed significantly. For every young person who starts, an adult stops or dies from the effects of smoking. There are still many more men than women who develop lung cancer
This is the space in the rib cage between the two lungs that houses the thoracic viscera - i.e. the heart, associated nerves, vessels and lymph nodes. The pleuras (pleura and pleura), which line the two pleural cavities with the lungs, form a partition between the mediastinum and the lungs. To the front and back, this space is bounded by the breastbone and thoracic spine, and from above and below it extends approximately from the level of the collarbone down to the diaphragm.
. But: The number of diseases is slowly decreasing in men, while it is still increasing in women. The number of tobacco-related deaths from lung cancer in women has doubled in the past 10 years.

A glimmer of hope on the horizon
Young people in Germany are evidently increasingly finding smoking "uncool". According to the Federal Center for Health Education, the proportion of 12 to 17-year-olds who smoke has fallen from 27.5 percent in 2001 to 9.7 percent in 2014. And anyone who reaches the age of 20 without starting to smoke has a good chance of life to stay a non-smoker. This is because most smokers (82% of adults) started smoking before they turned 20. But even for those who smoke, there are various options or special tobacco cessation programs to get rid of cigarettes.