18 MARCH 2015 ¦ ABU DHABI/GENEVA - New data show a declining rate of tobacco use and an increase in numbers of non-smokers. But governments must intensify action to combat the tobacco industry and dramatically reduce consumption of tobacco products to, in turn, protect public health, according to WHO.
Non-smoking is becoming the new norm worldwide, according to a new online WHO Global Report on Trends in Tobacco Smoking, launched today during the 16th World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH) which opened yesterday in Abu Dhabi and ends on 21 March. The conference is focussing on tobacco control and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), namely lung and heart diseases, cancers and diabetes.
The report finds that in 2010, there were 3.9 billion non-smokers aged 15 years and over in WHO Member States (or 78% of the 5.1 billion population aged 15+). This number is projected to rise to 5 billion (or 81% of the projected 6.1 billion population aged 15+) by 2025 if the current pace of tobacco cessation continues. This trend indicates countries are making inroads, but much greater action is needed to curb the tobacco epidemic if the global target to cut tobacco consumption by 30% by 2025 to reduce premature deaths from NCDs is to be met.
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