Cigarette smoking is one of the oldest habits in the world that is still practiced by over a billion individuals. The history of smoking in the Americas dates back to around 5000 BC, but the habit spread faster after the arrival of the Europeans during the sixteenth century. Over 800 million of the world’s smokers are men. Currently, over 60% of the smokers live in ten countries (with China hosting the largest amount of smokers) while 80% reside in middle or low-income nations. While tobacco smoking is increasing in developing countries, the practice has reduced or leveled off in most developed states.
Countries That Smoke the Most Cigarettes
Andorra tops the list, with each Andorran smoker consuming over 6,398.3 cigarettes annually. Tobacco is one of Andorra’s main agricultural products that is grown in over 8% of its farmland. Since the locals enjoy the country’s duty-free status, they can purchase cigarettes at a lower price than in any other European state. Andorra is one of the few European countries where smokers can enjoy their cigarettes indoors in public areas. Cigarette smuggling is quite common in Andorra, especially through the Gibraltar-Andorra boundary.
While there is a general decrease in the number of smokers in Luxembourg, their Cancer Foundation has reported a rise in smoking among individuals aged between 18 and 24 years. The number of Luxembourg smokers reduced by 5% from 2007 to 2016. 18% of women and 23% of men in the country are smokers. Smoking in public areas has been illegal in Luxembourg since 2014. The state banned smoking in children’s playgrounds in 2017, but they are still ranked second among the countries which smoke the highest number of cigarettes per year.
Belarus is the third highest consumer of cigarettes in the world with every smoker using an average of about 2,911.3 cigarettes annually. About 10.6% of the females and 46.2% of the males in the country are smokers. About 4.53% of the boy and 2.97% of the girls aged between 10 to 14years old are smokers. The price gap of cigarettes among the European Union states has narrowed while in Belarus the prices have remained low and this has made Belarus the biggest source of illegal cigarettes in the region. Belarus has a low Tobacco tax rate as compared to other countries, and this has contributed to the high number of youth smokers. The government established some smoking zones all over the country to help reduce the effects of second-hand smoke.
The number of Hong Kongers who smoke has reduced in over two decades from 23.3% to 10.5% in 2015. The country has one of the longest lifespans in the world, and this is attributed to the reduced smoking rate. There were about 641,300 daily smokers in Hong Kong of which 83.9% are males and 16.1% females. On average a single smoker consumes about 2,910 cigarettes annually. The government has discouraged the habit by prohibiting tobacco advertisements and banning smoking in various public places. The first Hong Kong airliner to launch non-smoking flights was Cathay Pacific. Cathay Pacific made over 60% of its flights non-smoking by 1993.