Tobacco Use Trending Down

In an encouraging sign, the number of tobacco users fell last year to 1.3 billion, down from 1.32 billion in 2015, according to the WHO’s latest report on global tobacco trends.

  • The downward trend is expected to continue with an estimated 1.27 billion tobacco users by 2025.
  • 60 countries will likely achieve the global target of a 30% reduction in users by 2025. (2 years ago, that number was only 32.)
  • 22.3% of the world’s population were tobacco users—36.7% of men and 7.8% of women. 
  • About 38 million children (13 million girls and 25 million boys) between 13 and 15 are current tobacco users.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement the trends are encouraging, but, “We still have a long way to go, and tobacco companies will continue to use every trick in the book to defend the gigantic profits they make from peddling their deadly wares."

COP9 update: The report’s release follows a Friday declaration of COP 9, the ninth session of the Conference of Parties to the WHO’s Framework Convention for Tobacco Control, Devex reports. After an arduous debate among the 1,200 delegates, they agreed called on countries to oppose tobacco industry involvement in COVID-19 policies. Some delegates like those from the Philippines parroted industry arguments such as “tobacco is also a source of good through taxation.”

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