Apr 5, 2017

Study shows 1 billion people still smoke daily

Hundreds of millions of people have quit smoking in the past quarter century, but there are still a billion people smoking daily around the world, a new study in the Lancet shows.

Data: The Lancet , GBD 2015 Tobacco Collaborators; Map: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Why it matters: One in 10 deaths worldwide is now caused by smoking — half of them in just four countries (China, India, Russia and the U.S.) — and smoking-related deaths have gone up nearly 5 percent in the past 25 years as more smokers are now found in under-developed countries where healthcare delivery is limited. Despite serious efforts by the global public health community to stigmatize and delegitimize cigarette smoking over the past three decades, smoking continues to be a leading cause of death and disability around the world.

The good news: Smoking prevalence globally has fallen by nearly one-third since 1990. One in 12 women smoked then compared to one in 20 today, and smoking rates among American teenagers have plummeted in the past 20 years from a high of 36 percent in 1995 (at the advent of the Tobacco Wars) to nearly single digits today.

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