1.3 Billion Current Smokers, Only 20 Million Fewer In 5 Years

WHO released a report on global tobacco trends: 1.3 billion current smokers, only 20 million fewer in 5 years


According to the fourth WHO Global Tobacco Trends Report released today by the World Health Organization  shows that, there are 1.3 billion tobacco users worldwide compared with 1.32 billion in 2015. It is estimated that this number will drop to 1.27 billion by 2025. At the moment, 60 countries are expected to achieve the voluntary global goal of reducing tobacco use by 30% between 2010 and 2025.


As stated to the World Health Organization through effective and comprehensive tobacco control policies under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and the MPOWER initiative in global health institutions, there should always be a monitoring tobacco use, protecting people from tobacco smoke, quitting smoking(heat not burn herbal heat-sticks), warning about the harms of tobacco, Enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, and increase tobacco taxes.


As well, WHO Director-General Tan Desai said in a statement that, It is very encouraging to see that fewer and fewer people use tobacco every year, and more and more countries are expected to achieve the global goal. We still have a long way to go, and tobacco companies will continue to use every trick in the book to defend the huge profits they make by selling deadly commodities. We encourage all countries to make better use of many effective tools to help people quit smoking and save lives. In contrast, critics say that the WHO report shows that tobacco control has failed.


In addition to that, Gerry Stimson professor emeritus at Imperial College London and director of the Global Tobacco Harm Reduction Project said that, “As the World Health Organization released its latest report on global tobacco trends, it advocated a decline in tobacco use. But global health institutions are celebrating the failure.

The reduction of tobacco users from 1.32 billion to 1.3 billion in five years is not evidence of the success of the strategy. Because of smoking-related diseases, 8 million people die every year. What we have seen is evidence of the negligence of public health duties.”


Stimson also criticized the World Health Organization for not considering risk reduction products in its strategy. He added that, “With modern and safer nicotine products, these technological disruptors, such as e-cigarette devices(HEECHI Chinese manafucturer), nicotine bags, and heated tobacco products, we have a way to end smoking and end smoking as soon as possible.”


Furthermore, The Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction estimates that the number of users of harm reduction products worldwide is 100 million. However, due to the distorted public health information of the World Health Organization and other tobacco control organizations funded by US charities, these organizations seem to be less concerned the current health of smokers. Harm reduction is the third pillar of the tobacco control strategy mentioned in the FCTC along with reducing supply and demand. We urge WHO to incorporate harm reduction into its tobacco control methods (HNB heat not burn sticks) as it has already done in drug use and HIV/AIDS prevention. WHO’s MPOWER strategy encourages smokers to switch to safer nicotine products and providing information about safer alternatives accurate information.


The main findings of the WHO report include:


In 2020, 22.3% of the global population uses tobacco and the proportions of global men and women are 36.7% and 7.8% respectively. Currently, 60 countries are expected to achieve the goal of reducing tobacco use by 2025. The largest decline in prevalence is in the Americas. The average tobacco use rate there has dropped from 21% in 2010 to 16% in 2020. As well, the WHO African Region has the lowest average tobacco use rate with 10% in 2020, which is lower than the 15% in 2010.


In Europe, 18% of women still use tobacco, much higher than any other region. European women are the slowest in reducing tobacco use in the world. All other WHO regions are expected to reduce tobacco use among women by at least 30% by 2025.


Also, Pakistan is the only country in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean region that is expected to achieve tobacco reduction targets. Four of the six countries in the world where tobacco use has increased are in this region.


Meanwhile, Southeast Asia currently has the highest rate of tobacco use. With approximately 432 million users accounting for 29% of its population. But this is also the region with the fastest decline in tobacco use. By 2025, the region is likely to reach tobacco use rates similar to those in Europe and the Western Pacific.


Therefore, it is estimated that by 2025, the WHO Western Pacific Region will have the highest smoking rate among men (over 45%).