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According to WHO, the number of smokers worldwide is trending downward.

According to WHO, the number of smokers worldwide is trending downward.

According to WHO, the number of smokers worldwide is trending downward.

Some (fairly) optimistic news: According to the World Health Organization, the number of adults using tobacco worldwide has been steadily declining in recent years. About one in five adults worldwide smoked or used tobacco derivatives in 2022, up from one in three at the turn of the millennium, the organization recalled Tuesday in a new report. A total of 150 countries have successfully reduced tobacco consumption.

But while smoking rates are falling in most countries, the WHO has warned that tobacco-related deaths are expected to remain high in the coming years. Statistics show that smoking kills more than eight million people every year, including about 1.3 million non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke. The report highlights that the time lag between the introduction of strict tobacco control measures and a reduction in the number of deaths is about thirty years.

The tobacco industry that does not disarm

And even if the number of smokers continues to decline, WHO estimates that the target of reducing tobacco consumption by 30% between 2010 and 2025 cannot be achieved. Fifty-six countries must achieve this, including Brazil, which has already reduced tobacco consumption by 35% since 2010.

On the other hand, six countries have seen an increase in tobacco consumption since 2010: Congo, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Oman and Moldova. Overall, however, the report’s authors estimate that the world is on track to reduce tobacco consumption by a quarter over the period 2010-2025. However, WHO warns that the tobacco industry does not intend to stand by.

Younger and younger smokers

“Remarkable progress has been made in tobacco control in recent years, but now is not the time to remain inactive,” warned Rüdiger Krech, Director of WHO’s Department of Health Promotion. “I am amazed at the lengths the tobacco industry is willing to go to profit at the expense of countless lives,” he said.

Therefore, WHO calls for combating “tobacco industry interference.” And he calls attention to new so-called smoke-free products and calls for collecting as much data as possible on their success with teenagers. Thus, 10% of young people aged 13 to 15 worldwide use one or more types of tobacco.

This amounts to at least 37 million teens who use tobacco, including at least 12 million who use these new products. These figures are largely underestimated because more than 70 countries do not provide data. There is an alarming lack of information in the face of an industry that is attempting to undermine public health efforts to contain youth.

Source: Le Parisien

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