The bluffer's briefing on: Smoking

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The Independent Online
Origins: The cigarette was invented by Turkish troops at the Battle of Acre in 1799 as a piece of improvisation when their hookah was destroyed by French cannon fire.

Production: Cuba produces more than 15 billion cigars each year.

Statistics: In Britain, 31 per cent of men and 29 per cent of women smoke; 42 per cent have their first cigarette each day before breakfast and a further 23 per cent immediately after.

Giving up: A woman who gives up smoking is likely to put on 5lb in weight, unless she is under 30 or smokes fewer than 20 a day.

Deaths through smoking: Estimated at 111,000 a year in Britain.

Cost to NHS of treating smoking-related diseases in hospi-

tal: pounds 437m.

Number of hospital beds occupied by sufferers: 9,500.

Annual expenditure on tobacco products in Britain (in

1991): pounds 9.7bn.

Taxation revenue: pounds 7.2bn.

Average annual expenditure on cigarettes: pounds 600 per smoker.

Number of cigarettes smoked in Britain in 1991: 95.6 billion.

Length: A person on 25 cigarettes a day for 50 years will have smoked the equivalent of one cigarette more than 22 miles long.

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