Despite strong declines in the rate of tobacco smoking over the past 25 years, one out of every four men still smoke daily, as do one out of every 20 women.
In a new analysis from the Global Burden of Disease study (GBD) published today (April 5, 2017) in The Lancet, authors discovered that the prevalence of daily smoking declined on a global scale – decreasing by 28% for men and 34% for women between 1990 and 2015.
But while the rate of smoking has fallen over the past few decades, the number of daily smokers globally continues to rise year-over-year due to population growth.
As of 2015, there were 933 million daily smokers.
“Robust tobacco control efforts have led to progress in reducing the deadly habit of smoking in much of the world, but much more can be done,” said senior author Dr. Emmanuela Gakidou, Professor of Global Health at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington in Seattle.
“Growth in the sheer number of daily smokers still outpaces the global decline in daily smoking rates, indicating the need to prevent more people from starting the tobacco habit and to encourage smokers to quit.”
The three countries with the most male daily smokers in 2015 accounted for over half of all men who smoked daily worldwide. Countries with the most male daily smokers in 2015 were China with 254 million, India with 91 million, and Indonesia with 50 million.
The three countries with the highest number of female daily smokers in 2015 accounted for just over 25% of all female daily smokers worldwide.
Countries with the most female daily smokers in 2015 were the Unites States with 17 million, followed by China with 14 million, and India with 13.5 million.
These results suggest that the tobacco smoking epidemic is less geographically concentrated for women than for men, with implications that global efforts may need to be different to reach male smokers compared to female smokers.
Countries with the highest number of deaths from smoking (rounded):
- China (1.8 million)
2. India (743,000)
3. US (472,000)
4. Russia (283,000)
5. Indonesia (180,000)
6. Japan (166,000)
7. Bangladesh (153,000)
8. Brazil (149,000)
9. Germany (130,000)
10. Pakistan (124,000)
Countries with the highest prevalence of male daily smokers:
- Kiribati (48%)
2. Indonesia (47%)
3. Laos (47%)
4. Northern Mariana Islands (46%)
5. Armenia (43%)
6. Greenland (43%)
7. Belarus (42%)
8. Ukraine (41%)
9. Azerbaijan (40%)
10. Timor-Leste (40%)
Countries with the highest prevalence of female daily smokers:
- Greenland (44%)
2. Bulgaria (28%)
3. Greece (27%)
4. Montenegro (26%)
5. Croatia (26%)
6. Northern Mariana Islands (25%)
7. Kiribati (25%)
8. Macedonia (23%)
9. Hungary (23%)
10. Austria (23%)
“Data on smoking trends is essential to continuing the progress we’re making reducing the death toll from tobacco. The more we know, the better we can target our efforts, the greater incentive national governments have to take action, and the more death and disease we can prevent,” said Michael R. Bloomberg.
Michael R. Bloomberg has been a leading advocate in the fight against tobacco use. Bloomberg has provided nearly $1 billion to tobacco control efforts including 10 years of support for the implementation of tobacco control laws and policies around the world through the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use.
To date the initiative has successfully supported 59 countries in passing laws or policies, reaching nearly 3.5 billion people and saving an estimated 30 million lives.
Daily smoking is defined in the study as the daily use of manufactured or hand-rolled cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookah, bidis, and other country-specific smoked tobacco products, when applicable.
Smokeless tobacco products and burden due to secondhand smoke were not included in the analysis.
News source: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. The content is edited for length and style purposes.
Figure legend: This Knowridge.com image is credited to Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.