Tobacco is a Deadly Product
- Tobacco kills up to half of its users.
- Tobacco kills nearly 6 million people each year, of whom more than 5 million are from direct tobacco use and more than 600 000 are nonsmokers exposed to second-hand smoke. Unless urgent action is taken, the annual death toll could rise to more than eight million by 2030.
- Tobacco caused 100 million deaths in the 20th century. If current trends continue, it may cause about one billion deaths in the 21st century.
- There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke.
- In adults, second-hand smoke causes serious cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, including coronary heart disease and lung cancer. In infants, it causes sudden death. In pregnant women, it causes low birth weight.
The World Lacks Protection from Tobacco
- Under 11% of the world’s population are protected by comprehensive national smoke-free laws.
- National comprehensive health-care services supporting cessation are available in only 19 countries, representing 14% of the world’s population.
- Just 19 countries, representing 15% of the world’s population, meet the best practice for pictorial warnings, which includes the warnings in the local language and cover an average of at least half of the front and back of cigarette packs. No low-income country meets this best-practice level. Forty-two countries, representing 42% of the world’s population, mandate pictorial warnings.
- Only 19 countries, representing 6% of the world’s population, have reached the highest level of achievement in banning tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
- Around 38% of countries have minimal or no restrictions at all on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
- Only 27 countries, representing less than 8% of the world’s population, have tobacco tax rates greater than 75% of the retail price.
- Tobacco tax revenues are on average 154 times higher than spending on tobacco control, based on available data.
The Tobacco Epidemic is Widespread
- Nearly 80% of the world’s one billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries.
- Consumption of tobacco products is increasing globally, though it is decreasing in some high-income and upper middle-income countries.