The Issue

Did you know?

* Doctors in the 16th century recommended tobacco as a medicine for a variety of conditions, including cancer

* Some 70 per cent of smokers claim they want to kick the habit

* Nicotine is a toxin designed to protect the tobacco plant from insects

* The drug causes physical changes in the brain, growing millions of receptors and allowing others to wither

* Around half of smokers die from related diseases

* Smoking kills around 114,000 people a year in the UK - more than five times as many as die from accidents, poisoning, overdose, murder, manslaughter, suicide and HIV combined

* About 450 children in the UK start smoking every day, and more than 80 per cent of smokers start before they are 18

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