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Good News in Tobacco Use Around the World

Good News in Tobacco Use Around the World

Good News in Tobacco Use Around the World

Tobacco use saw a 20% decline in 2022, a decline from the 33% adult users reported in the year 2000. Although cigarette smoking remains the most prevalent form of tobacco consumption globally, other products such as cigars, hookah (waterpipe tobacco), and smokeless tobacco are equally detrimental to health.

The global impact of the “tobacco epidemic” is staggering, causing over eight million deaths annually, as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO). Of these deaths, more than seven million are directly linked to tobacco use, while approximately 1.3 million non-smokers succumb to the effects of second-hand smoke.

Encouragingly, efforts to control tobacco use have shown progress globally, with an estimated 1.25 billion tobacco users worldwide. Notably, 150 countries are successfully implementing measures to reduce tobacco use among individuals aged 15 and above.

Examples of successful initiatives include Brazil and the Netherlands, both utilizing the MPOWER strategy, which encompasses six key tobacco control measures, such as protection, advertising bans, tax increases on tobacco products, and cessation support.

Despite these achievements, Dr. Ruediger Krech, Director of WHO’s Department of Health Promotion, cautioned against complacency, highlighting the persistent pursuit of profits by the tobacco industry at the expense of lives. He emphasized the industry’s manipulation of health policies even when governments believe they have overcome the tobacco challenge.

WHO called on countries to persist in implementing and reinforcing tobacco control policies, acknowledging the industry’s deceptive practices, including the use of front groups, third parties, sponsored events, social media influencers, and biased research.

Regional disparities in tobacco use persist, with Southeast Asia and Europe having the highest prevalence rates at 26.5% and 25.3%, respectively. Notably, tobacco use among women in Europe exceeds the global average and is decreasing at a slower rate than in other regions.

While progress has been made, some countries continue to struggle with rising tobacco use, including Congo, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Oman, and Moldova.

Although the world is on track to achieve a 25% relative reduction in tobacco use by 2025, it falls short of the voluntary global goal of a 30% reduction from the 2010 baseline. Only 56 countries are expected to reach this goal, down from 60 in the previous report three years ago.

The World Health Organization emphasized the need for intensified efforts to combat tobacco use, especially in light of increasing use among children aged 13 to 15 years, who are turning to tobacco and nicotine products like e-cigarettes.

While we have a long way to go, these numbers are definitely encouraging.

Good News in Tobacco Use Around the World

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