New research published in The Lancet in May showed that the number of smokers around the world has reached 1.1 billion. In 2019, deaths resulting from smoking hit 8 million and continues to rise as more younger people pick up the habit. In the last three decades, the number of smokers increased for males in 20 countries and females in 12. 2/3 of the world’s smokers come from 10 countries, namely: China, India, Indonesia, the United States, Russia, Bangladesh, Japan, Turkey, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

The research is part of the Global Burden of Disease which studies issues that affect the health and disability of people at national, regional, and worldwide levels. The results showed that half of all countries made small progress in decreasing smoking consumption among 15 to 24-year-olds. According to Marissa Reitsma, the study’s lead author and a researcher at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, the government must focus on reducing the number of young smokers because 89% of new smokers become addicted to the vice by 25 years old but are unlikely to begin smoking beyond that age.