Among risk factors, tobacco use is one of the most clearly damaging to health. Smoking contributes to a variety of non-communicable diseases, including cancer, heart disease, stroke, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes. The greatest health risks occur in countries where smoking is pervasive and where smokers consume a large quantity of cigarettes.
Global Burden of Disease research has found that over the past 30 years, smoking prevalence – the percent of smokers in a population – has decreased, but the number of cigarette smokers worldwide has increased because of population growth. In most countries, men are more likely to smoke than women and 90% of current smokers began smoking by the age of 25.
The most comprehensive data on global trends in smoking highlight its enormous global health toll. The number of smokers worldwide has increased to 1.1 billion in 2019, with tobacco smoking causing 7.7 million deaths worldwide.
We estimated the prevalence of smoking tobacco use and attributable disease burden for 204 countries and territories, by age and sex, from 1990 to 2019.