Global smoking deaths on the rise


07 Apr 2017

Smoking Kills: One in 10 global deaths due to smoking

Smoking caused more than one in 10 deaths globally in 2015, according to a study sponsored by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and published in 'The Lancet' medical journal.

According to the 'Global Burden of Disease' study, 52.2% of those deaths took place in just four countries- China, India, the US, and Russia.

Smoking caused over 11% of 6.4 million deaths globally in 2015.


Global smoking deaths up by 4.7%

Global smoking deaths up by 4.7%

The study rated smoking as a bigger health burden moving from third to second biggest cause of disability; in 2015, smoking deaths increased by 4.7% compared to 2005.

The estimates based on smoking habits in 195 countries/territories in 1990-2015 showed that smoking is a leading death and disability risk factor.

With growing and aging populations, supporting more smokers in quitting would be crucial.

Men v Women

Male and female smokers in the world

The leading countries with male smokers -China, India, and Indonesia- accounted for 51.4% of world's male smokers.

The US, China, and India -the three leading countries in the world's female smokers- accounted for 27.3% of the world's female smokers.

Indonesia, Bangladesh, and the Philippines didn't have significant reductions in male smokers since 1990; while India, Philippines, and Germany showed no decline in female smokers.

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The War

The war against tobacco is far from won

The war against tobacco is far from won

The study warned the war against tobacco is far from won, despite implementing WHO's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

Between 1990-2015, global smoking prevalence decreased to 15.3% from 29.4%; one in four men and one in 20 women worldwide smoke.

Despite the improvement, population growth led to an increase in the overall number of smokers to 933mn in 2015 from 870mn in 1990.

Additional Policies

Policymakers need to make renewed and sustained efforts

India, Panama, and Pakistan implemented many tobacco control policies in the last decade and recorded decline in daily smoking prevalence since 2005.

The study said the FCTC is vital but not enough for effective tobacco control globally; nations need to implement additional policies.

It noted India implemented the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) by creating National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP) in 2007.

India's National Tobacco Control Programme

The study stated: "NTCP was created to strengthen implementation and enforcement of the various provisions of COTPA at the state and district level. It has been rolled out in phases and currently covers about 40% of all districts in India."

Leading countries

Top ten countries with the largest number of smokers

Top ten countries with the largest number of smokers

The ten leading countries with the highest number of smokers in 2015 were China, India, Indonesia, USA, Russia, Bangladesh, Japan, Brazil, Germany, and Philippines.

The countries together accounted for two-thirds of the total number of smokers in the world (63.6%).

Despite over half a century of unequivocal evidence of tobacco's harmful effects on health, one in every four men is a daily smoker today.

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