Tobacco usage has declined nationally

Tobacco usage among women is declining at a faster rate than men, who are now four times more likely to use tobacco than women.
tobacco usage

Global tobacco usage is declining, a new report from the UN’s World Health Organisation (WHO) has found.

According to the latest data, one in five adults consume tobacco. That’s compared to one in three in 2000.

However, the WHO said more research was needed to understand the health impacts of vaping.

A note on vapes

The report estimates 1.25 billion adults use tobacco globally. People who vape using HTPs (heated tobacco products) are included in this number under the WHO category “smoked tobacco use”.

However, electronic nicotine delivery systems (vapes that contain nicotine but not tobacco) are categorised separately and not included in the findings.

The WHO said more extensive data was needed to understand the prevalence of e-cigarette use among adults and adolescents.

2025 target

The WHO has set a target for countries to reach a 30% reduction in tobacco usage by 2025, compared to 2010 levels.

There are 56 countries on track to reach or exceed this target, including Australia, which is expected to reach a 35% national decrease in tobacco use by 2025.

While tobacco consumption in the U.S. has declined, it is not expected to meet the 30% target. Congo, Egypt, and Indonesia are among six countries where tobacco use is increasing.

Age and gender

Tobacco use among women is declining at a faster rate than men. Currently, men are four times more likely to use tobacco than women. In 2000, men were three times more likely to use tobacco.

The WHO estimated around 5% of 13 to 15-year-olds smoke cigarettes — around 19 million teenagers.

The rates of younger tobacco users among the 13 to 15-year-old population are highest in Europe and the Americas. But, over a quarter of all teen smokers live in southeast Asia.

Tobacco industry

The WHO warned against attempts by the tobacco industry to “influence global health policies” by offering incentives to some countries, including money.

It accused the industry of “interfering with countries’ rights to protect the health of their populations”.

Global leaders and tobacco industry representatives will meet in Panama next month for the WHO Tobacco Control Convention.


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