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Quit Tobacco - Global Tobacco Epidemic

  • There are 1.3 billion smokers estimated worldwide, almost 1 million are men among them - equivalent to about one third of the global population aged 15 years and above.

  • About one in five smokes worldwide among teenagers.

  • Between 80,000 and 100,000 children start smoking every day worldwide. Evidence shows that approximately 50 percent of those who start smoking in adolescent years go on to smoke for 15 to 20 years.

  • About 15 billion cigarettes are sold every day, almost equivalent to 10 million every minute.

    Estimated number of smokers   Smoking prevalence  
  Countries Males Females Total Males Female  
  Developed 275 150 425 35% 22%  
  Developing 700 100 800 50% 9%  
  World 975 250 1225 47% 12%  


  • By 2030, tobacco is expected to be the biggest cause of death worldwide, with an estimated 10 million people dying of tobacco related causes across the world. Around 3 million deaths will be in developed world and 7 million in developing countries.

  • Since 1950, more than 70,000 scientific reports have showed that prolonged smoking causes premature death and disability worldwide. Overall, one in two smokers dies prematurely, with one quarter dying in middle age, losing 20-25 years of life.

  • Smoking alone is estimated to have caused 21% of deaths out of cancer worldwide. Smoking was linked with 856,000 deaths worldwide from lung, bronchial and tracheal cancers, 184,000 oesophageal cancers and 131,000 oral cancers.

  • In developed countries, cardiovascular disease is the most common smoking-related cause of death. Every eight seconds, someone dies out of tobacco use.

  • Smoking is on the rise in the developing world but falling in developed nations. Among Americans, smoking rates shrunk by nearly half in three decades (from the mid-1960s to mid-1990s), falling to 23% of adults by 1997. In the developing world, tobacco consumption is rising by 3.4% per year.

  • Cigarettes cause more than one in five American deaths.

  • Among WHO Regions, the Western Pacific Region - which covers East Asia and the Pacific has the highest smoking rate, with nearly two-thirds of men smoking.

  • About one in three cigarettes are consumed in the Western Pacific Region.

  • The tobacco market is controlled by just a few corporations like American, British and Japanese multinational conglomerates.

  • Peer-reviewed studies show teenagers are highly influenced by tobacco advertising.

  • About a quarter of youth alive in the Western Pacific Region will die out of smoking.

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