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HomeHealthShocking numbers.. Five points you should know on World No Tobacco Day

Shocking numbers.. Five points you should know on World No Tobacco Day


Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death: one person dies every four seconds in the world from cigarettes.

Every minute 15 people die from tobacco and 10 million smokers smoke a cigarette.

Here are five main points that you should know on World No Tobacco Day, which is celebrated by the World Health Organization on Wednesday.

How many smokers?

The World Health Organization and the Tobacco Atlas Center estimate that the number of smokers exceeds one billion people in the world.

Every year, smokers consume more than 5,000 billion cigarettes, according to the Tobacco Atlas Center for Tobacco Information at the American “Vital Strategies” organization and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The proportion of smokers has been declining at the global level for years, thanks to the measures imposed by countries to combat smoking, such as increasing taxes, as well as the emergence of electronic cigarettes in recent years.

In 2000, a third of the world’s population over the age of 15 smoked. Today, this percentage has decreased to about 20%.

Where are the largest number of smokers concentrated?

China (1.4 billion people) has the largest number of smokers in the world (about 300 million smokers), according to WHO figures for 2020.

Indonesia is the country with the highest proportion of male smokers, as 62.7% of smokers over the age of 15 are male.

The cigarette has become a scourge affecting mainly poor countries: 80% of smokers live in low- or middle-income countries.

In Africa and the Middle East, the smoking habit has decreased slightly, but it is increasing in some countries such as Egypt, Lebanon and Iraq.

How many smoking victims?

Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death: one person dies every four seconds in the world from cigarettes.

Active smoking or passive smoking caused the death of about 9 million people in 2019, according to a study published by The Lancet in 2021.

Diseases directly related to tobacco are cancer – especially lung cancer – myocardial infarction, cardiovascular disease and respiratory disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

In the twentieth century, tobacco caused the death of 100 million people, according to a study published by Nature magazine in 2009, more than the number of victims of World War II (between 60 and 80 million people), in addition to the 18 million deaths in World War I.

Mass smoking could cause 450 million deaths in the first half of the 21st century and is costly to society, absorbing 6% of global health spending, according to a study coordinated by the World Health Organization and published in Tobacco Control in 2018.

What is the effect of smoking on the planet?

Cigarettes not only damage the lungs and arteries of smokers, but also the planet.

Tobacco production and consumption emit about 84 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, equivalent to a fifth of the pollution sourced by commercial aircraft, according to World Health Organization figures.

Approximately one million tons of cigarette butts are discarded annually and contain non-biodegradable cellulose acetate.

Tobacco cultivation requires 22 billion tons of water per year and its industry produces 25 million tons of solid waste.

Sector decline?

Is the cigarette manufacturing sector in decline with the gradual decline in tobacco consumption since 2012?

Nothing is certain, according to The Tobacco Atlas. In wealthy countries, this powerful industry has expanded into alternative products, primarily electronic cigarettes.

In low- and middle-income countries, the big tobacco companies continue their “aggressive” pricing policy and spend huge sums of money to fight tobacco control measures.

Two American economic analysis offices expect that the next five to eight years will witness an annual increase of about 2.5% in the total trading volume of the sector, which will reach $940 billion in 2023.

On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day, the World Health Organization called on farmers to grow edible foodstuffs instead of tobacco plants, with the aim of enhancing food security.

But she also noted that areas devoted to this type of crop in Africa had increased by about 20% in 15 years.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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