ANKARA – The number of people using tobacco products, which are the main cause of respiratory diseases as well as cardiovascular ailments, fell from 1.26 billion in 2020 to 1.24 billion in 2022, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO).
At the initiative of the UN agency, Feb. 9 is observed annually as World Stop Smoking Day every year to help prevent the harm from smoking, reduce its use, and raise social awareness.
While approximately 1.26 billion people worldwide used tobacco products in 2020, by 2022 this number fell to 1.24 billion.
A WHO report predicts a further decline in tobacco consumers, projecting that the number of people using tobacco products worldwide will drop to 1.22 billion in 2025.
Among the regions of the world, the WHO found Southeast Asia to be the area with the highest tobacco consumption in 2022.
Some 411 million people use tobacco products in Southeast Asia, followed by the Western Pacific with 370 million, Europe with 179 million, the Americas with 133 million, the Eastern Mediterranean with 92 million, and Africa with 60 million.
Türkiye is in the European region. Its rate of smoking among adults is above 30%, according to the WHO, putting it in the highest category for Europe, along with 15 other European countries.
About 224 million of the approximately 1.24 billion people worldwide consuming tobacco products in 2022 were women.
Highly addictive tobacco products cause respiratory diseases as well as cardiovascular ones.
According to the WHO, more than 8 million people die each year due to tobacco consumption.
People who do not use tobacco products are also affected by cigarette smoke in their surroundings.
Especially cigarette smoke inhaled during pregnancy can affect the health of the child for life after birth.
Next-generation threat: electronic cigarettes
Although the number of people consuming tobacco products is falling, the use of electronic cigarettes, which are divided into nicotine and non-nicotine, is becoming more widespread worldwide.
With these devices, consumers inhale smoke formed as a result of heating liquid.
Electronic cigarettes, which have recently added various flavors, which experts warn can be used to lure younger consumers, also pose a threat to human health.
These products attract young people through the addition of flavors while inhaling. Companies also use this as a sales strategy.
Electronic cigarette sellers, further raising the interest of young people on social media, give these products the appearance of toys.
According to WHO data, in 88 countries there is no minimum legal age for the sale of electronic cigarettes.
In 74 countries, there are no legal regulations for these harmful products.
Consumption of these devices, which offer some 16,000 flavors, is rising rapidly among children and young people. (Anadolu)
Credit belongs to: www.pna.gov.ph