Smoking: An Avoidable Health Disaster Explained
Efforts to discourage smoking have steadily reduced its prevalence from 27.8% of the global population in 1990 to 19.6% in 2019. However, the total number of people who smoke has actually increased over the same period, owing to population growth. In 2019, there were 1.14 billion smokers worldwide.
More than one in ten deaths can be attributed to smoking. Most smoking-related deaths stem from one of just four non-communicable diseases (NCDs): ischaemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke and cancer of the trachea, bronchi and lungs. Smoking causes one in six deaths from non-communicable diseases. 200 million years of healthy life were lost to disability and death in 2019 as a result of smoking.
Direct health expenditure on smoking-related diseases, as well as indirect costs of smoking such as lost labour due to disability and death, cost the world more than US$1.4…