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Global Smoking Statistics for 2002

Overall Stats and Youth Smoking Facts

By

Updated June 11, 2014

Young People Drinking at a Bar
Jim Arbogast/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Worldwide, between 80,000 and 100,000 kids start smoking every day. Approximately one quarter of children alive in the Western Pacific Region* will die from smoking.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has compiled worldwide smoking statistics for the year 2002. The smoking facts and stats presented are sobering.

28 May 2002
GLOBAL SMOKING STATISTICS

  • About a third of the male adult global population smokes.
  • Smoking related-diseases kill one in 10 adults globally, or cause four million deaths. By 2030, if current trends continue, smoking will kill one in six people.
  • Every eight seconds, someone dies from tobacco use.
  • Smoking is on the rise in the developing world but falling in developed nations. Among Americans, smoking rates shrunk by nearly half in three decades (from the mid-1960s to mid-1990s), falling to 23% of adults by 1997. In the developing world, tobacco consumption is rising by 3.4% per year.
  • About 15 billion cigarettes are sold daily - or 10 million every minute.
  • About 12 times more British people have died from smoking than from World War II.
  • Cigarettes cause more than one in five American deaths.
  • Among WHO Regions, the Western Pacific Region - which covers East Asia and the Pacific - has the highest smoking rate, with nearly two-thirds of men smoking.
  • About one in three cigarettes are consumed in the Western Pacific Region.
  • The tobacco market is controlled by just a few corporations - namely American, British and Japanese multinational conglomerates.
Youth
  • Among young teens (aged 13 to 15), about one in five smokes worldwide.
  • Between 80,000 and 100,000 children worldwide start smoking every day - roughly half of whom live in Asia.
  • Evidence shows that around 50% of those who start smoking in adolescent years go on to smoke for 15 to 20 years.
  • Peer-reviewed studies show teenagers are heavily influenced by tobacco advertising.
  • About a quarter of youth alive in the Western Pacific Region will die from smoking

    Health

  • Half of long-term smokers will die from tobacco. Every cigarette smoked cuts at least five minutes of life on average - about the time taken to smoke it.
  • Smoking is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death. It is a prime factor in heart disease, stroke and chronic lung disease. It can cause cancer of the lungs, larynx, oesophagus, mouth, and bladder, and contributes to cancer of the cervix, pancreas, and kidneys.
  • More than 4,000 toxic or carcinogenic chemicals have been found in tobacco smoke.
  • One British survey found that nearly 99% of women did not know of the link between smoking and cervical cancer.
  • One survey found that 60% of Chinese adults did not know that smoking can cause lung cancer while 96% were unaware it can cause heart disease.
  • At least a quarter of all deaths from heart diseases and about three-quarters of world's chronic bronchitis are related to smoking.
  • Smoking-related diseases cost the United States more than $150 billion a year.

    Advertising
     
  • US-based multinational Philip Morris - the world's biggest cigarette company - was the world’s ninth largest advertiser in 1996, spending more than $3 billion.
  • A survey a few years ago found that nearly 80% of American advertising executives from top agencies believed cigarette advertising does make smoking more appealing or socially acceptable to children. Through advertising, tobacco firms try to link smoking with athletic prowess, sexual attractiveness, success, adult sophistication, adventure and self-fulfilment.
  • A survey in the UK found about half of smokers think that smoking "can’t really be all that dangerous, or the Government wouldn’t let cigarettes be advertised".
  • A 1998 survey found that tobacco companies were among the top 10 advertisers in 18 out of 66 countries surveyed.
  • In Asia, tobacco companies are among the top 10 advertisers in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and the Philippines.
  • In Russia, according to press reports, foreign tobacco companies are the largest advertisers, accounting for as much as 40% of all TV and radio advertising.
  • In 1997, the tobacco industry's spending on advertising in the United States was about $15 million a day ($5.7 billion for the year).
  • The tobacco industry has changed the way it advertises in the last 30 years. Now, only 10% of advertising expenditure goes to print and outdoor advertisements, while more than half goes to promotional allowances and items, such as t-shirts for young people or lighters and key rings.
  • After the entry of foreign multinational tobacco firms into Japan, the Republic of Korea and Thailand, youth and female smoking rose significantly.

    *The 37 countries and areas comprising the WHO Western Pacific Region are: American Samoa, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Hong Kong (China), Japan, Kiribati, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Macao (China), Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Mongolia, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Pitcairn Islands, Republic of Korea, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Viet Nam, and Wallis and Futuna.

    Source: World Health Organization - Smoking Statistics
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