En 2022, around one in five adults in the world smoked or consumed tobacco products, compared to one in three at the turn of the millennium, recalled the WHO, in a new report on global smoking trends.
In the document, the WHO analyzes trends in smoking prevalence between 2000 and 2030. The data shows that 150 countries have successfully reduced tobacco consumption.
Although smoking rates are declining in most countries, the WHO has warned that tobacco-related deaths are expected to remain high in the coming years.
Statistics show that smoking kills more than eight million people every year, including around 1.3 million non-smokers exposed to secondhand smoke.
The report also states that the period of time between the application of strict tobacco control measures and the reduction in the number of deaths from smoking is around thirty years.
Even if the number of smokers continues to decline, the WHO estimates that the objective of a 30% reduction in tobacco consumption between 2010 and 2025 is unlikely to be achieved.
According to the data, 56 countries should achieve this goal, including Brazil, which has already managed to reduce tobacco consumption by 35% since 2010.
On the other hand, six countries have recorded an increase in tobacco consumption since 2010: Congo, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Oman and Moldova.
Overall, the report’s authors believe the world is on track to reduce tobacco consumption by a quarter over the period 2010-2025.
However, the WHO warns that the tobacco industry has no intention of standing idly by.
“Remarkable progress has been made in tobacco control in recent years, but now is not the time to remain inactive,” warned Ruediger Krech, director of the WHO’s health promotion department, in a statement.
The official also said he was amazed “to see how far the tobacco industry is willing to go to make profits at the cost of countless lives”, stressing that, as soon as a country thinks it has won the war on tobacco, the tobacco industry reopens a new front.
In the document, the WHO calls for the fight against “tobacco industry interference”, drawing attention to new so-called smoke-free products, and calls for the collection of as much data as possible on their success among teenagers.
Available data indicate that 10% of young people aged 13 to 15 around the world use one or more types of tobacco.
This figure represents at least 37 million adolescent tobacco users, including at least 12 million who use these new products.
These numbers are largely underestimated, as more than 70 countries do not provide data.
Despite awareness-raising efforts, “young people recognize the regular use of these products, the easy access to purchasing them and little concern about the risk of dependence”, highlights the WHO.
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