May 30, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

World No Tobacco Day: Record number of cigarettes smoked annually

In the first half of the 21st century, 450 million people could die from smoking.

According to the World Health Organization and The Tobacco Atlas on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day, out of 8 billion people on Earth, about 1 billion are smokers. Every minute 10 million smokers light a cigarette and 15 people die from smoking. Here are five facts about tomorrow’s World No Tobacco Day.

According to The Tobacco Atlas, an information center for smoking by the American NGO Vital Strategies and the University of Illinois at Chicago, More than 5 trillion cigarettes are smoked annually.

The number of smokers has been declining for several years, thanks to anti-smoking measures taken by countries, such as tax increases and the recent introduction of electronic cigarettes.

In 2000, one third of the world’s population over the age of 15 smoked, compared with 20% today.

Where are the most smokers?

According to WHO data for 2020, the largest number of smokers live in China, where there are nearly 300 million smokers per 1.4 billion people. There are also many male smokers in Indonesia, with 62.7% of smokers over the age of 15.

Smoking now mostly affects the poorest countries: 80% of smokers live in low- or middle-income countries.

Africa and the Middle East have seen a slight decrease in the number of smokers, although some countries, such as Egypt and Iraq, are following the opposite path.

How many deaths

Smoking is the number one reason preventable death. Every four seconds, one person dies from smoking worldwide.. According to the Global Burden of Disease study published in 2021 in the scientific journal The Lancet, active or passive smoking killed almost 9 million people in 2019.

Cancer, mainly lung, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases are the main diseases associated with smoking.

Smoking killed 100 million people in the 20th century, more than the 60 to 80 million deaths in World War II and the 18 million deaths in World War I, according to a study published in 2009 in the journal Nature.

In the first half of the 21st century, 450 million people could die from smoking. At the same time, it comes at a cost to society: it absorbs 6% of global health spending, according to a WHO-coordinated study published in 2018 in the journal Tobacco Control.

What are the consequences for the planet

Cigarettes harm not only the lungs and arteries of smokers, but also the planet: Tobacco production and consumption causes the release of 84 million tons of carbon dioxide annually. Almost a million tons of viscous mass is discarded each year along with non-biodegradable filters containing acetate. Growing tobacco requires 22 billion tons of water annually, and the tobacco industry generates 25 million tons of solid waste.

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