Everywhere in the developed world, as the bans on cigarette smoking in public have been increasingly made into law, tobacco consumption has went into decline. This was especially seen in major western cities in the US, Canada, and Europe over the past couple of decades. The same thing happened in China, where the public smoking ban was stringent enforced with large fines attached. However, the World Health Organization has a new study claiming that smoking is on the rise again, but this time in developing countries. Its 2014 research findings show that, of the 1 billion smokers in the world today, about 80% are to be found in developing countries. The following list of countries with the most smokers, based on data provided by the World Health Organization and CIA Factbook.
10. Samoa (40.9% of adults; limited consumption data)
Samoa has an estimated 40.9% of its adults being smokers across the country. Statistics show that more men than women have adapted to the habit. It has been established that about 3,800 children and 28,000 adults in the country are regular smokers. Although the public has been made aware of the dangers and risks associated with tobacco smoking, many Samoans have continued to deny its dangers. There is therefore a need to enforce more action on the smoking public in Samoa.
9. Bosnia and Herzegovina (42.2% of adults; 14.8 cigarettes per smoker per day)
Bosnia and Herzegovina's data shows that 42.2% of adults in the country smoke, and those that do use an average of 14.8 cigarettes per day. This country also has some of the lowest cigarette prices in Europe. Some statistics even show that over half of adults in the smoke. One of the measures taken against tobacco smoking in the country was the establishment of the International Tobacco Control Conference.
8. Serbia (42.3% of adults; 19 cigarettes per smoker per day)
Serbia has a total of about 42.3% of its adults smoking, and they are consuming an average of around 19 cigarettes per day. This is due to lax smoking laws and no ban at all on smoking in public places. Statistics show that Serbians smoke more than most Europeans. Lately, however, the Serbian government has taken steps in curbing the habit by passing laws against smoking in public places. The government is taking steps against the public's claim that smoking is part of its culture.
7. Belarus (42.4% of adults; 14.6 cigarettes per smoker per day)
Belarus has an estimated 42.4% of its adults being smokers among its population, and these consume on average 14.6 cigarettes per day. Its Ministry of Health estimates that 65% of its high school and college students are partaking in the habit. Cigarette prices in the country are cheap, and the lack of smoking bans encourages Belarusian youth to adopt the habit. Much of the cheap cigarettes found elsewhere in the EU also come from Belarus.
6. Austria (43.3% of adults; 10.4 cigarettes per smoker per day)
Austria has an estimated 43.3% of its adults smoking 10.4 cigarettes per day. This may be due to the country's relaxed ban on smoking. An example would be the exception of the ban on small restaurants, while the larger establishments need only provide a non-smoking section. Another setback is that public resistance is high in Austria, where the habit has really taken root culturally. Considering that even hospitals permit cigarette vendors and kiosks to do business in their vicinities, it would take much stricter laws to stamp out smoking in the country.
5. Ukraine (43.3% of adults; 15.2 cigarettes per smoker per day)
Ukraine's smoking population constitutes about 43.3% of its adults, and they are smoking around 15.2 cigarettes each per day. A smoking ban has been implemented in all outdoor and indoor public places. Although there has been a decrease recently in smoking, there are four times as many smokers in the teenage group than in the older age bracket. More smokers can be found in the country's western regions than in the eastern regions.
4. Russia (48.3% of adults; 15.8 cigarettes per smoker per day)
Russia has an estimated 48.3% of its adults smoking at least 15.8 cigarettes per day. Cigarette manufacturers in Russia were not regulated until very recently. A smoking ban in all public places indoors and outdoors was implemented in June of 2014, and tobacco sponsorship of events and tobacco advertisement were also prohibited. Warnings about smoking were also made more visible in the public places. In Russia, smoking rates among males are much higher than among females.
3. Nauru (49.3% of adults; 3.5 cigarettes per smoker per day)
Nauru has the third highest percentage at 49.3% of adult smokers, though apparently consuming a relatively meager total of 3.5 cigarettes per smoker per day. It is ironic, since Nauru is the world's smallest island nation, and whose population is less than 10,000 people, and was once considered as having a high standard of living. Here, more than half of the female population smoke, while around 50% of men smoke. This trend goes against global norms for much higher rates among female smokers than males, and may partially explain the low per smoker cigarette consumption there, if most of these female smokers only do so in social settings, which is common among that demographic.
2. Greece (51.7% of adults; 16 cigarettes per smoker per day)
Greece has the second highest percentage, at 51.7% of adults being smokers, with a total of 16 cigarettes per smoker per day. Statistics show that this was the highest in the EU in 2010. Although two smoking bans in public places have been instituted in Greece, smoking is still rampant, and few have paid much attention to the bans at all.
1. North Korea (58.6% of adult males; limited consumption data)
North Korea tops the list with about 58.6% of adult male smokers ignoring the ban in smoking at public places. North Koreans still smoke in parks, cinemas, offices, restaurants, and onboard trains. The age group 15 and up comprise the highest percentage of smokers in the country. Data on North Korean female smokers and cigarette consumption there are limited.