“Ensuring that young people do not smoke before age 25 will drastically reduce smoking rates for the next generation,” Reitsma said.
Ground Report | India: On the eve of World No Tobacco Day, which is celebrated on May 31, scientists have named the most “smoking” countries in the world. The Global Survey on Tobacco Use 1990-2019 was published on the website of the medical journal The Lancet. The study analyzes in detail the statistics of smoking and tobacco use in 204 countries of the world, collected in 3625 nationwide surveys.
The top 10 most “smoking” countries include China, India, Indonesia, USA, Russia, Bangladesh, Japan, Turkey, Vietnam and the Philippines. Every third tobacco smoker in the world lives in China. The study authors said that governments of all countries need to focus on reducing smoking among young people, as 89% of new smokers become addicted by the age of 25, but after that age they are unlikely to start smoking for the first time.
“Young people are particularly vulnerable to addiction, and as high smoking cessation rates remain elusive globally, the tobacco epidemic will continue for years to come unless countries can dramatically reduce new smokers starting each year,” said the study’s lead author. Marissa Reitzma, Research Fellow, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
Although smoking prevalence has declined globally over the past three decades, it has increased among men in 20 countries and among women in 12. Only 10 countries account for two-thirds of the world’s smokers: China, India, Indonesia, USA, Russia, Bangladesh, Japan. Turkey, Vietnam and the Philippines. One in three tobacco smokers (341 million) live in China.
In 2019, smoking was associated with 1.7 million deaths from coronary heart disease, 1.6 million deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 1.3 million deaths from trachea, bronchial and lung cancers, and almost 1 million deaths from stroke. Previous research has shown that at least half of long-term smokers will die from causes directly related to smoking, and that the average lifespan of smokers is 10 years lower than that of those who have never smoked.
The study looked at trends in 204 countries and was conducted by the Global Burden of Disease Research Consortium, which studies the health problems that lead to death and disability.
According to the study, half of all countries have not made progress in discontinuing use among people aged 15 to 24, and the average age to start admission is 19, while in most places this is allowed by law. Study co-author Vin Gupta said there is a need to strengthen the commitment to smoking cessation, as well as products such as flavored cigarettes and e-cigarettes that can attract the attention of young people.
“Despite progress in some countries, tobacco industry interference and weakening political will have created a large and persistent gap between knowledge and action on global tobacco control,” Gupta pointed out. “Bans on advertising, promotion and sponsorship should apply to online media, but only one in four countries has completely banned all forms of direct and indirect advertising,” the researchers concluded.