New Delhi – India is second to China in terms of number of smokers aged 15 or above accounting for 106 million of the world’s 1.1 billion smokers, according to a new report by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Indonesia comes in third with 74 million smokers. As many as 200 million of the world’s 367 million smokeless tobacco users are in India, the report (2016 estimates) highlighted.The WHO estimates that, worldwide, there are at least 367 million smokeless tobacco users aged 15 years or over. More males used smokeless tobacco products (237 million) than females (129 million). Although smokeless tobacco is used in all regions, the WHO South-East Asian Region has by far the largest number of users (301 million), representing 82 per cent of all users worldwide.However, the pace of action in reducing tobacco demand and related death and disease is lagging behind global and national commitments to reduce tobacco use by 30 per cent among people aged 15 and older. If the trend continues on the current trajectory, the world will only achieve a 22 per cent reduction by 2025. According to the report, tobacco use has declined markedly since 2000, but the reduction is insufficient to meet globally agreed targets aimed at protecting people from death and suffering from cardiovascular and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs).On the occasion of the World No Tobacco Day, WHO has joined hands with the World Heart Federation to highlight the link between tobacco and cardiovascular diseases (CVD), the world’s leading causes of death, responsible for 44 per cent of all NCD deaths, or 17.9 million deaths annually.
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