- BBC News World
The number of smokers reached a new world record, according to a comprehensive study of smoking in 204 countries and territories.
In the world there are more 1.140 million active smokers, which shows a new record from less than 1 billion in 1990, shows the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study published this week in the journal The Lancet.
China It is the country with the largest smoking population in the world, almost a third of all tobacco users on the planet.
Latin America is the region that more reduction in smoking it had in recent decades, with Brazil, Colombia and Costa Rica as the countries that have made the most progress.
The Savior, on the contrary, it was the only country of the region where it increased tobacco use.
“If nothing is done, the annual figure of 7.69 million deaths and 200 million years of life lost due to diseases attributable to smoking it will increase in the coming decades, “the study notes.
And it is that although many countries have launched successful campaigns and strengthened their regulations to eliminate smoking, not all have fully applied them.
That has partly explained why progress in the fight against smoking has slowed as the world’s population grows.
Billions of cigarettes a year
The GBD study shows that, according to the latest data available in 204 countries, men (32.7%) are five times the number of women (6.62%) who use tobacco or equivalent products.
A study published in The Lancet reveals an increase in the number of smokers in 2019
1,140 millionthe number of smokers worldwide, which sets a new record
7.69 millionthe number of deaths in the world associated with smoking in 2019
Around the world, in 2019 they were consumed 7.41 trillion cigarettes. That equates to acaverage daily consumption of 20,300 million.
China is the country with the biggest problem. There is registered a third of the world consumption of tobacco (2,720 million cigarettes).
Daily consumption per person varies by country. But the majority of men age 30 and over in 72 countries, and women in 121 countries, smoke fewer than 10 cigarettes per day on average.
Consumption has its highest point between mens, well 32.3% worldwide smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day.
“With more than 1 billion people smoking tobacco worldwide in 2019, the annual number of deaths, the economic costs and the burden on health systems caused by smoking will increase in the coming years,” warns the GBD study.
Why has it increased?
30 years ago, the world had about 990 billion active smokers.
The countries were implementing different campaigns to discourage tobacco use. The World Health Organization (WHO) then created the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control to coordinate efforts and offer guidance to all countries starting in 2005.
The strategy, which was binding for the 182 countries who signed it, began to have effects, because in the following four years there was the greatest reduction in tobacco use viewed worldwide.
To discourage access to tobacco, the plan recommends raise taxes upon purchase, create laws on smoke-free zones, show warnings on packs Y ban advertising and tobacco promotion, among other measures.
But as the GBD study determined, only Brazil and Turkey fully implemented all the measures.
“In many countries, reductions in prevalence have not kept pace with population growth. As a result, the number of smokers globally has risen steadily every year since 1990,” the study explains.
To this is added that countries with large populations and consumers, with China e Indonesia at the head, they have had “little or no progress” in the fight against smoking in the last three decades.
And in many countries, including those that were very successful in their campaigns, “the rate of progress has slowed, particularly in the last 5 years.”
“The current level of implementation of tobacco control policies it is insufficient in many countries of the world“, warns the study.
“Closing the gaps in the adoption, implementation and application of evidence-based demand reduction policies is vital to ending the epidemic world smoking “.
Good progress in Latin America
Although they also contribute to the global problem, almost all Latin American countries have had good results in getting its population to reduce tobacco consumption in the last three decades.
In case of Brazil It is remarkable, since smoking decreased by 73.4% there (number one worldwide), but also Costa Rica Y Colombia They are among the 10 nations with the best progress since 1990.
Peru is the country with lowest consumption among men (7.33%) worldwide. Mexico and Costa Rica also stand out for achieving the reduction of smoking among women by almost 50%.
But there are also worrying numbers.
The Savior was the only country in the region where it increased consumption, with an average between men and women of 35.6%.
Guatemala Y Bolivia they only had a reduction of less than 10% since 1990.
The study highlights that the general reduction of 19.8% in Latin America and the Caribbean is higher than achieved by high-income countries (16,2%).
Considered an epidemic, tobacco use continues to be a major public health problem.
The GDB study stated that in 2019 smoking caused 7.6 million deaths and it affected 200 million years of life of people who suffered problems linked to smoking.
Ischemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cancer of the trachea, bronchi and lung, as well as stroke are the main conditions that smokers develop.
Most smokers lose their lives between the ages of 60 and 64.
“In the last 30 years, more than 200 million deaths they have been caused by tobacco use and the annual economic costs due to tobacco use exceed one trillion dollars, “the study notes.
“Even smokers who use only a few cigarettes a day are at considerable excess risk compared to nonsmokers.”
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.