Comparison (only England + Wales):

"Table 1 Drug-related deaths in England and Wales 1995 to 1999*

Cocaine 227
Amphetamine 213
Ecstasy 78
Solvents 366 (UK, 1993 to 1997)
Opiates (heroin, morphine & methadone) 4,743
Alcohol 200,000 - 400,000 approx.
Tobacco one million plus approx

Source: ONS, Deaths related to drug poisoning: England and Wales, 1995-1999. Health Statistic Quarterly, Spring 2001
What is more significant is the [annual] percentage of deaths in relation to the estimated total population of users.
Tobacco: 0.9 per cent.
Alcohol: 0.5 per cent
Opiates: 0.3 per cent
Ecstasy: 0.00005 per cent "\wip\11\1\1\deaths.html

British Medical Association:
"although drug misuse poses risks to the user and to others, from a public health perspective it remains a small problem in relation to the medical harm caused by alcohol and
tobacco. It has been estimated that every year in the UK tobacco leads to at least 120,000 premature deaths, and alcohol to between 28,000 and 33,000 deaths".,tobacco

Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs report 'Reducing Drug-Related Deaths':
"1.1 In England and Wales something between 1076 and 2997 deaths of drug misusers occurred in 1998 as a result of overdose. Some of those deaths were suicides but most were accidents".
"1.12 Smoking kills about 120,000 people each year, and between 28,000 and 33,000 people die annually as a result of alcohol".

World Health Organisation:
"In an initial estimate of factors responsible for the global burden of disease, tobacco contributed to 6% of all deaths world wide, followed by alcohol at 1.5% and illicit drugs at 0.2%".

World Health Organisation:
WHO points out that tobacco use is only 7 times more prevalent than illicit drug use but causes 22 times as many deaths as illegal drug use, suggesting that tobacco use causes 3 times as many deaths as all illicit drug use.


Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs report 'Reducing Drug-Related Deaths':
"1.12 ... between 28,000 and 33,000 people die annually as a result of alcohol"
"2.37 Alcohol can kill young people in a number of different ways. It is a mistake to think that alcohol only causes death by chronic disease".


UK Scientific Committee on Tobacco and Health report 1998:
"1.39 Smoking is the most important cause of premature death in developed countries. It accounts for one fifth of deaths in the UK: some 120,000 deaths a year".
Annex H: "passive smoking in non-smokers .... could account for several hundred lung cancer deaths per annum in the UK."

UK Scientific Committee on Tobacco and Health report 2001:
"Half of all regular smokers will eventually be killed by their habit if they continue to smoke".

World Health Organisation:
"Tobacco kills 4.9 million people every year".


BBC News:
"A total of 150mgs of caffeine was found in 100mls of blood - enough in Dr Gibbs's view, to cause death."


The Select Committee on Science and Technology Ninth Report 'Cannabis: the scientific and medical evidence':
"4.3 The acute toxicity of cannabis and the cannabinoids is very low; no-one has ever died as a direct and immediate consequence of recreational or medical use".

The World Health Organisation's report 'Cannabis: a health perspective and research agenda':
"There are no recorded cases of overdose fatalities attributed to cannabis, and the estimated lethal dose for humans extrapolated from animal studies is so high that it cannot be achieved by recreational users."


"Heroin and morphine were implicated in 43% of the 1,296 drug-related deaths during 2000, the last year on record, according to the national programme on substance abuse deaths.
Heroin deaths rose by one-third to 551. Some 27 people died after taking ecstasy, two-thirds more than the previous year.",8150,660076,00.html

Illegal drugs:

Government's 'Ten Year Strategy for Tackling Drugs':
"the number of deaths in the UK attributable to the misuse of drugs has risen from 1,399 in 1993 to 1,805 in 1995."

Prescription drugs:

"PARACETAMOL: There are 20,000 accidental and deliberate overdoses yearly, and Paracetamol is the commonest drug used for self overdosing. On average 200 people die every year and significant numbers of survivors are left with irreparable liver damage. The lethal dose to the liver is 20 g. although cases have been reported at lower doses.
NON STEROIDAL ANTI_INFLAMMATORY DRUGS such as; Mefenamic acid, Indomthacin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen are believed to cause 4000 deaths yearly from intestinal erosion and bleeding."