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The study was published on The Lancet two days ago, and the authors pointed out that despite all the efforts and campaigns that have taken place in the last years, the “war against tobacco” is far from won, and pointed out that there is a dire need for renewed and sustained efforts. The authors calculated that presently one in four men, 25%, smoke and one in 20 women, which amounts to 5.4%.
Between 1990 and 2015, smoking declined by almost a third, from 29.4% to 15.3%. Yet these percentages are relative to the population growth, hence despite these improvements, due to the population increase, the number of smokers has increased from 870.4 million in 1990, to 933.1 million in 2015.
“Despite more than half a century of unequivocal evidence of the harmful effects of tobacco on health, today, one in every four men in the world is a daily smoker,” said senior author Dr. Emmanuela Gakidou.
“Smoking remains the second largest risk factor for early death and disability, and so to further reduce its impact we must intensify tobacco control to further reduce smoking prevalence and attributable burden.” she added.
The 10 countries with the largest number of smokers in 2015 were China, India, Indonesia, USA, Russia, Bangladesh, Japan, Brazil, Germany and the Philippines. Together these countries accounted for a significant 63.6% of the world’s smokers.
Vaping products could be part of the solution
Public health experts would agree that figures like the ones obtained from this study are why implementing harm reduction methods is so important. While countries such as Canada and New Zealand are in the process of reviewing data about the efficacy of vaping products for smoking cessation, the UK is a step ahead and has been achieving positive results since endorsing the products. The country is currently reporting the lowest number of smokers ever recorded.