To mark World No Tobacco Day, we’ve mapped the planet according to cigarette consumption. As with alcohol consumption, Eastern European nations dominate – with a couple of exceptions. Andorra tops the table, compiled by Tobacco Atlas, with an estimated 6,398 legally sold machine-made and roll-your-own cigarettes consumed per person per year. However, the country is a haven for duty-free shopping, which may well be skewing those figures. Next up is another of Europe’s littlest nations, Luxembourg. Belarus, the country that consumes the most alcohol per capita, comes third, followed by Macedonia and Albania. Belgium, Czech Republic, Jordan, Russia and Syria complete the top 10.
The 20 countries that smoke the most:
- Czech Republic
Jordan, Syria and China are the most tobacco-dependent non-European countries. Few regular visitors to Greece will be surprised to see it at 12th. Other popular summer holiday destinations not far from the smokers’ summit include Austria (19th), Turkey (24th) and Croatia (35th). Britons, conversely, consume far fewer cigarettes – just 827.66 per adult per year – placing it 79th on the list. The US is slightly higher, at 68th.
Residents of Brunei should be proud of the fact that they smoke the least of all those countries to feature in the Tobacco Atlas list. India, Ecuador, Peru, Ghana, and Antigua and Barbuda are also near the bottom of the table. There also appears to be a clear relationship between wealth and tobacco consumption. Many of the world’s poorest countries can be found in the lower reaches of the rankings. Those with no data appear in grey on the map above. The data does not take into account tobacco sold illegally.
The 20 countries that smoke the least:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Democratic Republic of Congo
Six facts about global smoking:
- Globally, 942 million men and 175 million women ages 15 or older are current smokers.
- Tobacco kills more than half of those who regularly use it and has a two-trillion-dollar economic cost to society each year.
- In many countries, farmers clear forested land that is agriculturally marginal to grow tobacco—often by burning —and/or harvest wood for curing. Typically, the land is quickly abandoned and becomes unusable, often leading to desertification.
- Three-quarters of male daily smokers live in countries with medium or high-HDI (Human Development Index), whereas half of the female daily smokers live in very high-HDI countries.
- The number of smokers is declining only in very-high HDI countries; in the rest of the world, the number of smokers is increasing.
- More than 6 million people per year die from tobacco use across the globe, and in 2016 alone, second-hand smoke caused 884,000 deaths.
Credit: Oliver Smith for The Telegraph, 31 May 2018.