The number of adult tobacco users has dropped steadily in recent years, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday but it warned Big Tobacco was working hard to reverse that trend.
In 2022, about one in five adults around the world were smokers or consumed other tobacco products, compared to one in every three in 2000, the UN health agency said.
A fresh report looking at trends in the generality of tobacco use between 2000 and 2030 showed that 150 countries were successfully reducing tobacco use, the WHO said.
But while smoking rates are declining in most countries, the WHO warned that tobacco-related deaths were expected to remain high for years to come.
Currently, tobacco use is still estimated to kill more than eight million people each year, including an estimated 1.3 million non-smokers who are exposed to second-hand smoke, WHO statistics show.
“Countries implementing strong tobacco control measures can expect to wait about 30 years between turning the currency rate from increasing to decreasing and seeing an associated turnaround in the number of deaths due to tobacco,” Tuesday’s report said.