Number of males using tobacco globally on the decline, showing that government-led control efforts work to save lives, protect health, beat tobacco
For the first time, the World Health Organization projects that the number of males using tobacco is on the decline, indicating a powerful shift in the global tobacco epidemic. The findings, published today in a new WHO report, demonstrate how government-led action can protect communities from tobacco, save lives and prevent people suffering tobacco-related harm.
Other key findings of the report included:
Children: Approximately 43 million children (aged 13-15) used tobacco in 2018 (14 million girls and 29 million boys).
Women: The number of women using tobacco in 2018 was 244 million. By 2025, there should be 32 million fewer women tobacco users. Most gains are being made in low- and middle-income countries. Europe is the region making the slowest progress in reducing tobacco use among females.
Asian trends: WHO’s South East Asian Region has the highest rates of tobacco use, of more than 45% of males and females aged 15 years and over, but the trend is projected to decline rapidly to similar levels seen in the European and Western Pacific regions of around 25% by 2025. The Western Pacific Region, including China, is projected to overtake South East Asia as the region with the highest average rate among men.
Trends in the Americas: Fifteen countries in the Americas are on track to reach the 30% tobacco use reduction target by 2030, making it the best performing of WHO’s six regions.
Policy action: more and more countries are implementing effective tobacco control measures, which are having the desired effect of reducing tobacco use. Tobacco taxes not only help reduce tobacco consumption and health-care costs, but also represent a revenue stream for financing for development in many countries.
Read more: WHO