12 Charts That Show How Tobacco Is Destroying The World

Cigarette world

Tobacco use is one of the deadliest epidemics in history, with projections that it will kill one billion people in the 21st century.

Despite strong anti-smoking programs in America and other high-income countries, tobacco consumption is still rising around the world. Even in the U.S., smoking rates remain resiliently high among the poor. People keep smoking even as studies show that the habit kills half of its users.

To show just how bad tobacco is, we’ve pulled charts from the American Cancer Society and World Lung Foundation’s Tobacco Atlas and the World Health Organisation’s reports on Global Health Risks and The Global Tobacco Epidemic.

Tobacco will kill 1 billion people during the 21st century, if current trends continue.

Projected deaths tobacco

In some countries, including the U.S., tobacco causes more than 20% of deaths in people over 30.

Percentage of deaths over 30 caused by tobacco

Tobacco use is second only to high blood pressure as a health risk factor.

Deaths attributed to 19 leading risk factors

Smokers consumed 5.9 trillion cigarettes in 2009, enough for every person alive to smoke 865.

Global cigarette consumption

In places like Russia and China, the average person smokes thousands of cigarettes per year.

Annual cigarette consumption 2

The tobacco epidemic is getting much worse in the developing world.

A shifting epidemic

Smoking rates in low- and middle-income countries could rise for decades before peaking.

Male smoking prevalence small

Women, who smoke less in most countries, could see an even more dramatic rise in smoking rates and deaths in lower-income countries.

Female smoking deaths small

Boys ages 13 — 15 smoke at rates of 30% or more in some countries, and even in the U.S. around 10% of them smoke.

Male student smokers

Today’s girls ages 13 — 15 smoke nearly as much as boys, which points to alarming future growth among adult female smokers.

Girls tobacco use

Smokeless tobacco accounts for a significant and growing portion of global tobacco use, especially in South Asia. It is also deadly.

Smokeless tobacco

Big Tobacco is capturing a growing share of the global market.

Global tobacco share