Smoking will kill 8 million people annually, says WHO

Notícia publicada em:

  • 11 de Janeiro de 2017

Study estimates that habit costs around US$1 trillion a year to the global economy

Smoking costs the global economy more than US$1 trillion a year and will kill a third more number of people until 2030, compared to the number of deaths that already causes currently. The forecast is that the cigarette-related diseases are responsible for 8 million deaths annually. These projections are contained in a report released yesterday by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Cancer Institute of the United States.

The current estimated cost surpasses global revenues largely with taxes on tobacco, which, according to WHO, have reached about US$269 billion from 2013 to 2014.

“The number of tobacco-related deaths is expected to increase from about 6 million to about 8 million annually until 2030, and more than 80% will occur in low and middle-income countries”, details the study.

Around 80% of smokers live in these countries, and, although the prevalence of smoking is falling between the global population, the absolute number of smokers around the world is increasing, says the document.


According to health experts, smoking is the largest preventable cause of death across the planet. “It is responsible for probably more than US$1 trillion in health costs and lost of productivity each year”, estimates the publication, revised by more than 70 scientists from different countries.

– The economic impact of tobacco in the Governments and the general public is huge, as shown in this new report. The smoking industry produces and sells products that kill millions prematurely, steals home economics finance that could have been used for food and education, and imposes huge costs on the health of families, communities and countries – alerts Oleg Chestnov, Deputy Director-General of Chronic non-communicable diseases and Mental Health by WHO.

Data released in 2015 by the Organization showed that in 2013 about two-thirds of smokers in the world lived in only 13 countries, including Brazil, China, India is Russia, about 736,300,000 people. In Brazil, there were about 24,600,000 consumers of the product that year. The report highlights the strong tobacco industry in Brazil, which is the second largest producer in the world, only behind China.

Economic costs with smoking should continue increasing and, although Governments have the tools to reduce the smoke and the associated deaths, most could not take advantage of them properly, said the analysis.

“The fear of Governments that tobacco control will have an adverse economic impact is not justified by the evidence. The science is clear: the time for action is now” completes the report.


Several countries have already made use of tobacco control measures, such as with extra taxes, restrictions on the advertising of cigarette manufacturers and warnings on the labels of products with strong images illustrating the health problems caused by smoking.

On the other hand, countries such as Cuba, Indonesia, Honduras and Dominican Republic are positioning themselves against the adoption of measures taken, for example, in Australia, where the packs of different brands were standardized.

According to the study, the Australian decision is being watched closely by countries that are studying similar policies, like Norway, Slovenia, Canada, Belgium and South Africa.