Each year, 883,000 people die from the health harms caused by secondhand smoke. Because secondhand smoke contains substances able to cause lung cancer, strokes or chronic-obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Nearly half of these people – namely 433,000 deaths – die, because they have been exposed to secondhand smoke at the workplace. These are approximately 20% of the 2.3 million deaths caused by occupational diseases and risks.

Many of the risks related to work can be reduced, but not entirely eradicated because they are directly linked to materials required in production. This is different when it comes to secondhand smoke: Deaths and diseases would be entirely avoidable if all workplaces were smoke free.

Smoke free workplaces, therefore, are an important tobacco control measure to achieve the SDGs 3.4 (30% reduction of premature deaths from non-communicable diseases) and 8.8 (secure working conditions for all).

SDG-Factsheet No. 4 Tobacco | Decent Work

Relating tobacco and decent work does not only include smoking at workplaces, but also working conditions in tobacco growing.

In our new two-pages factsheet, you can also read about risks inherent in tobacco growing and about tobacco control measures contributing to sustainable development.

Order a printed copy or download the PDF.



Each year, 433,000 people die because they have been exposed to secondhand smoke at their workplace. All these deaths would be entirely avoidable with smoke free workplaces.
SDG-Factsheet No. 4 Tobacco | Decent Work © SDG-Factsheet No. 4 cover by Unfairtobacco / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0