the latest figures from WHO

The number of tobacco users continues to decline worldwide, from 1.32 billion in 2015 to 1.30 billion last year, said on Tuesday the World Health Organization (WHO), stressing however that “There is still a long way to go” in tobacco control.

According to the WHO’s Fourth Global Tobacco Trends Report, that number is expected to continue to decline to 1.27 billion in 2025.

According to the UN agency, 60 countries are now on track to meet the voluntary global target of a 30% reduction by 2025, an increase from two years ago, when only 32 countries were on the right track.

For WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus, these figures are very encouraging, but there is still work to be done.

“We still have a long way to go, and the tobacco companies will continue to use all tricks to defend the gigantic profits they are making by peddling their deadly wares,” Dr Tedros, quoted by the report, said.

According to the WHO, recent evidence shows that the tobacco industry has used the Covid-19 pandemic to gain influence with the governments of 80 states.

The report urges Member States to accelerate the implementation of the measures set out in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

WHO’s health promotion department director Ruediger Krech attributed some of the progress made to measures aligned with WHO’s FCTC, while maintaining that success is “fragile.”

“It is clear that tobacco control is effective, and we have a moral obligation to our people to act vigorously to achieve the link with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he said.

A new WHO report, titled Global Investment Case for Tobacco Cessation, also argues for investing in cessation interventions.

According to the report, spending $ 1.68 per capita annually on free nationwide smoking cessation helplines, SMS support and other interventions could help 152 million smokers. to quit smoking by 2030.

Last year, 22.3% of the world’s population used tobacco, or 36.7% of men and 7.8% of women, according to the WHO.

About 38 million children aged 13 to 15 currently use tobacco, or 13 million girls and 25 million boys. On average, upper-middle-income countries are the slowest progressing, but with poor or insufficient data quality in 29 countries, more monitoring is needed to assess a trend, argues the agency. ‘UN.

According to the WHO, tobacco kills up to half of its users, claiming more than 8 million victims each year.

Of all the WHO regions, the Americas have seen the largest decline, with the average rate of consumers dropping from 21% in 2010 to 16% last year.

In Africa, the rate has dropped from 15% to 10% and the continent continues to have the lowest figures.

In Europe, 18% of women still use tobacco, significantly more than in any other WHO region, while all others are on track to reduce the rate of female smoking by at least 30% by now 2025.

Although Southeast Asia has the highest rates, with around 432 million users, or 29% of its population, it is also the region with the numbers declining the fastest.

The Western Pacific is expected to become the region with the highest consumption among men, with indications showing that more than 45% of them will still use tobacco in 2025.

According to the WHO, this product kills more than 8.8 million people each year, of which more than 7.7 million die as a direct result of smoking and about 1.2 million more from second-hand smoke, also known as passive smoking.

SL (with MAP)

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