Bans on cigarette smoking in public and their strict implementation as law in many countries of the developed world have significantly decreased cigarette smoking. This trend was especially visible in major cities in the US, Canada, and Europe over the past couple of decades. A decrease in cigarette smoking also happened in China, where the public smoking ban was stringently 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 most recent research findings show that, of the 1 billion smokers in the world today, about 80% are found in the developing countries. The following is a list of countries with the most smokers, based on data provided by the World Health Organization and CIA Factbook.
10. Chile - 38% of adults
In Chile, the only South American country on this list, 38% of adults smoke tobacco. Despite strict controls over tobacco use in the country, it is estimated that around 131 men in Chile die every week from tobacco-related illnesses.
9. Bosnia and Herzegovina - 38.3% of adults
Bosnia and Herzegovina's data shows that 38.2% of adults in the country smoke an average of 14.8 cigarettes per day. This country also has some of the lowest cigarette prices in Europe.
8. Lebanon - 38.3% of adults
In Lebanon, 38.3% of adults smoke. Like many countries on this list, smoking has a place in Lebanese culture. Cigarettes in Lebanon are cheap and readily available. In 2015, the country relaxed its legislation that restricted smoking in public places.
7. Russia - 39.1% of adults
An estimated 39.1% of Russians smoke. 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 advertisements were also prohibited. Public places also displayed warnings about smoking. In Russia, smoking rates among males are much higher than among females.
6. Indonesia - 39.8% of adults
Indonesia counts around 39.8% of its population as smokers. This translates to around 57 million people! Smoking Kretek, a cigarette that is a blend of tobacco and cloves, is considered by many a cultural activity. However, smoking is also held responsible for hundreds of thousands of premature deaths in Indonesia every year. Notably, the country has no bans on smoking in most public places.
5. Jordan - 41% of adults
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 in smoking in recent times, 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. Serbia - 41.6% of adults
In Serbia, 42.3% of adults smoke. This is undoubtedly due to lax smoking laws and a lack of a ban 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.
3. Greece - 42.4% of adults
Greece has the third-highest percentage of smokers, at 42.4% of adults being smokers. Statistics show that this was the highest percentage in the EU in 2010. Although two smoking bans in public places have been instituted in Greece, smoking is still rampant. Only a few have paid attention to the bans at all.
2. Nauru - 47.5% of adults
Nauru has the second-highest percentage of smokers, at 47.5%. Nauru is the world's smallest island nation, with a population of fewer than 10,000 people. Here, more than half of the female population smoke, while around 50% of men smoke. This trend goes against global norms where more men smoke than females.
1. Kiribati - 52.2% of adults
Kiribati tops the list with about 52.2% of the population identifying as smokers. In this small country in the south Pacific, laws regulating tobacco are not strict and smoking is not prohibited in many public places. It is said that two-thirds of all men in Kiribati are smokers. The World Health Organization calls tobacco use in Kiribati an "epidemic."