GENEVA (Reuters) – Fewer people, especially women, smoke worldwide, but only one in eight countries is well on its way to achieving the goal of significantly reducing tobacco use by 2025, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Thursday.
Three million people die prematurely every year from tobacco use, which causes cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes. " The world's leading killer, "said World No Tobacco Day. They contain 890,000 passive smoking deaths.
WHO signed a landmark treaty in 2005, which has now been ratified by 180 countries. He calls for a ban on tobacco advertising and tobacco sponsorship and taxes in order to prevent their use.
"The global prevalence of smoking declined from 27 percent in 2000 to 20 percent in 2016, making progress," said Douglas Bettcher, head of the Noncommunicable Disease Prevention Division of WHO, a press conference.
With the publication of the WHO Global Report on Trends in Smoking Spread, he said that developed countries are making faster progress than developing countries.
"One of the main factors hindering low and middle income countries is undoubtedly the opposition of a tobacco industry seeking to replace customers who die by marketing their products freely and keeping prices affordable for young people," he added added.
Progress in habitual obstruction is inconsistent, with America being the only region that will achieve the goal of a 30% reduction in tobacco consumption by 2025 compared to 2010 for both men and women, WHO said.
However, the United States is currently not on track as they are in litigation over warnings on cigarette packaging and delays in taxation, said Vinayak Prasad of the WHO's Tobacco Control Center.
Parts of Western Europe have come to a "standstill", especially because women could not quit smoking, African men are lagging behind and tobacco use in the Middle East is actually increasing, according to the WHO.
Overall, tobacco kills more than 7 million a year and many people know that it increases the risk of cancer, the WHO said.
But many tobacco consumers in China and India are unaware of their increased risk of developing heart disease and strokes, so there is an urgent need to increase awareness-raising campaigns.
"The percentage of adults who do not believe that smoking causes a stroke is 73 percent in China, for example, and in heart attacks, 61 percent of adults in China are unaware that smoking increases the risk," said Bettcher. "We want to close this gap."
China and India have the highest number of smokers worldwide with 307 million and 106 million of the world's 1.1 billion adult smokers, followed by Indonesia with 74 million, WHO figures show. India also has 200 million of the world's 367 million smokeless tobacco consumers.
Arrangement by Alexandra Hudson