Published on January 10th, 20140
How many smokers exist on Earth? A new study shows that we are approaching a psychological threshold
Total number of smokers worldwide is constantly increasing, now there are almost 1 billion people with this habit, shows a study cited by bbc.co.uk.
Although smoking is becoming less popular in many parts of the world, the total number of smokers is constantly growing, says a study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (Ihme) at the University of Washington, United States of America, published in JAMA .
In 2012, 967 million people were smoking daily, compared with 721 million in 1980, according to data gathered from 187 countries.
The large number of smokers is related to population growth, said the researchers from JAMA. The increased number of people who smoke is understandable because the world population has doubled in the last 50 years, reaching seven billion.
Some large countries, including Bangladesh, China and Russia have in recent years, an increasing number of smokers, show the latest figures .
Some of the highest percentages of people who smoke are recorded in developed countries, according to the Ihme study.
Around three in 10 men (31%) and one in 20 women (6%) now smoke daily compared with four in 10 men (41%) and one in 10 women (10%) in 1980.
In terms of countries with the highest prevalence of tobacco use, East Timor tops the list with 61% of its population smoking every day. At the opposite pole are the islands of Antigua and Barbuda, where the percentage is at 5.
In some countries, including Canada, Iceland, Norway and Mexico, residents were able to give up cigarettes or reduce significantly the consumption.
A high consumption of cigarettes is recorded, among others, in Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, China, Kuwait, Russia, Switzerland, Uruguay and the Philippines.
Christopher Murray, director of Ihme, said: “Despite great progress on tobacco control, there are many who still smoke”.
Also, the World Health Organization said that millions of lives could be saved by implementing preventive policies, such as taxes on cigarettes and laws prohibiting smoking outdoors.
Scientists say that as the number of smokers worldwide is increasing, this study shows how important it is for all countries to implement a range of control measures to lower the number of people who get sick or die because of the habit.
Source: BBC News