Adults in the developing world are big smokers

The Global Adult Tobacco Survey took a detailed look at adult tobacco use in 14 low and middle-income countries.

An X-ray of the chest showing smoke curling through the airways

Until now, very little has been known about how people in China, Turkey, Mexico, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Brazil, the Ukraine, Egypt, Russia, India, Thailand, Poland Vietnam and Uruguay use tobacco products on a daily basis. In total, that means 852 million smokers worldwide, with China topping this particular list with 301 million smokers.

A much higher number of men in these countries (48.6%) were using tobacco, but only 11.3% of women reported doing so. One of the highest rates of men’s smoking was seen in Russia, where 60.2% said they smoked. In Egypt, only 0.5% of women were smokers.

Very few adults in these regions of the world are motivated to stop smoking with quit rates across the board standing at less than 20%. There were also signs, when findings were compared to previous surveys that now, women and men start smoking at around the same age. In the past, women started smoking later.

Taken as a whole, the report paints a depressing picture of smoking rates in middle and low-income countries, highlighting the need for urgent and effective smoking cessation programmes.



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