Tobacco Use Falling: Countries Urged to Invest in Helping Smokers to Quit

ADDIS ABABA  – THere are 1.30 billion tobacco users globally compared to 1.32 billion in 2015, said WHO global tobacco trends report released on Tuesday.

This number is expected to drop to 1.27 billion by 2025, revealed the new report. 

Sixty countries are now on track to achieving the voluntary global target of a 30% reduction in tobacco use between 2010 and 2025.

Two years ago, only 32 countries were on track. In Africa, the trend shows the region has the lowest average rate of tobacco use at 10% in 2020, down from 15% in 2010.

The report said millions of lives have been saved by effective and comprehensive tobacco control policies under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) and MPOWER, according to the report.

The UN health agency called it a great achievement in the fight against the tobacco epidemic.

However, data from 2020 shows about 22.3% of the global population uses tobacco, adding 36.7% of all men and 7.8% of the world’s women.

The report urged countries to accelerate implementation of the measures such as monitoring tobacco use and prevention policies, and rotecting people from tobacco smoke, in an effort to further reduce the number of people at risk of becoming ill and dying from a tobacco-related disease.

“It is clear that tobacco control is effective, and we have a moral obligation to our people to move aggressively in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” says Dr Ruediger , Director of WHO Department of Health Promotion.

“We are seeing great progress in many countries, which is the result of implementing tobacco control measures that are in line with the WHO FCTC,” said Dr. Krech.

However, the director said the success :is fragile. We still need to push ahead.”

The report suggested for cessation services to be scaled up, along with strengthening tobacco control measures, in order to meet global targets in reducing tobacco use.

Investing $1.68 dollars per capita each year in evidence-based cessation interventions such as brief advice, national toll-free quit lines, and SMS-based cessation support, could help 152 million tobacco users successfully quit by 2030, saving millions of lives and contributing to countries’ long-term economic growth, says new WHO Global Investment Case for Tobacco Cessation.