World No Tobacco Day: 20% of cancer cases in Bulgaria are lung cancer

About 20 per cent of cancer cases in Bulgaria are lung cancer, European Union statistics agency Eurostat said in figures released to mark May 31, World No Tobacco Day.

“Tobacco consumption is one of the greatest avoidable health risks in the EU. Many forms of cancer and cardiovascular and respiratory disease are linked to tobacco use,” Eurostat said.

In the 26 EU member states for which data are available for 2016, about a quarter of all deaths reported were due to cancer. Lung cancer accounted for 21 per cent of all cancer-related deaths.

In 2016, the share of lung cancer among all fatal cancers was highest in Hungary (27 per cent), followed by Poland, Greece and the Netherlands (all 24 per cent).

At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest shares were recorded in Portugal (15 per cent), Lithuania, Latvia and Sweden (all 16 per cent) and Slovakia (17 per cent).

The most recent statistics on the rate of smoking in EU countries date from 2014. A survey is being conducted in 2019, with the release of the findings scheduled for 2020.

The proportion of daily smokers in the EU in 2014 ranged from 8.7 per cent in Sweden to 27 per cent in Greece and Bulgaria.

Ahead of World No Tobacco Day, the World Health Organization is highlighting the damage tobacco causes to lung health: over 40 per cent of all tobacco-related deaths are from lung diseases like cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and tuberculosis.

WHO is calling on countries and partners to increase action to protect people from exposure to tobacco.

“Every year, tobacco kills at least 8 million people. Millions more live with lung cancer, tuberculosis, asthma or chronic lung disease caused by tobacco,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“Healthy lungs are essential to living a healthy life. Today – and everyday – you can protect your lungs and those of your friends and family by saying no to tobacco.”

WHO said that in 2017, tobacco killed 3.3 million users and people exposed to second-hand smoke from lung-related conditions, including:

  • 1.5 million people dying from chronic respiratory diseases

  • 1.2 million deaths from cancer (tracheal, bronchus and lung)

  • 600 000 deaths from respiratory infections and tuberculosis

More than 60 000 children aged under five die of lower respiratory infections caused by second-hand smoke. Those who live on into adulthood are more likely to develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) later in life, WHO said.

(Photo: Zsuzsanna Kilian/



The Sofia Globe staff

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