Tobacco Consumption: India and the World
Anti- tobacco campaigns have gained vast momentum in the past century, owing to multiple studies finding correlation between lung carcinoma and tobacco usage. The WHO has declared the 31 st of May as World No Tobacco Day in acknowledgement of this fact and the focal theme of 2018 is the impact of tobacco usage on cardiovascular health. A first step towards understanding the significance of this observance day is to assess global tobacco use and the effects it has.
What are the trends in smoking prevalence globally?
Increasingly, countries have recognised smoking as a public health crisis and have made targeted attempts at reducing smoking prevalence among their citizens, through concerted efforts in health education and taxation regimes. Most countries now have a smoking prevalence of less than 20% of their respective populations over the age of 15 years, and this is considerable progress made, given that these numbers hovered well above 25% for all nations merely two decades ago. While in the twentieth century smoking was most prevalent in developed countries with high per capita incomes, it has gradually shifted to countries with low incomes in the recent past.
This points at a relatively higher level of awareness regarding risk and adverse effects of smoking tobacco among the wealthier population of the world. Additionally, developed countries are major growers and exporters of high quality tobacco, consuming which becomes a symbol of upward mobility in developing societies. The country- wise rate of consumption of tobacco for the world is depicted in the first infographic.
Globally, cigarette smoking has fallen uniformly across continents in the past fifteen years, with an exception of Africa, which has grown at 10%. The South American continent has reduced its smoking prevalence by 35%, while Asia has reduced by 14%. North America has had the least smoking prevalence and has made significant gains in reducing those numbers. Over the years, the gains made in cutting down smoking rates all over the world surpass the growth shown in Africa. The decade of 2000-2010 has witnessed a reduction of at least 10% in these continents.