Moving forward in the Americas: tobacco control fosters sustainable development

Blanco Marquizo et al.

[Extract] The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 1.3 billion people in the world aged 15 years and older consume tobacco, of which 128 million (10%) live in the Region of the Americas. Since 2000, when WHO estimates started, the number of tobacco users in the Americas has reduced by 22.4%, from 165 million to 128 million users, even with concurrent population growth. Despite this progress, without additional tobacco control actions, the current projection by 2025 is that around 118 million people will still be using tobacco in the Americas (1). Cigarettes are the most consumed tobacco product among men and women in the Americas. Around 92% of tobacco users in the Region smoke tobacco (90% of males and 96% of females),
and among them, around 91% use cigarettes (manufactured or roll-your-own) (1).

All WHO regions, on average, present a decline in age-standardized tobacco-use prevalence rates among adults. However, the Region of the Americas shows the fastest decline, putting it on track to reducing prevalence by 30% or more by 2025 (from a 2010 baseline), a voluntary target set under the Global Action Plan on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases (2). Additionally, among males, the average prevalence in the Americas is also declining faster than in any other region, making it the only WHO Region on track for a relative reduction of 31% for this group by 2025, down from a prevalence of 27.4% in 2010 to 18.9% in 2025. Despite the Region of the Americas having the second highest prevalence rate of tobacco use among females (11.3%), placing it only behind the European Region (17.7%), the average prevalence is on track for reaching a relative reduction of 35% by 2025, down from 15.2% in 2010 to 9.8% in 2025. However, the decline in this group in the Region is slower than the global average of a relative reduction of 41%, and the projected rate for the Region in 2025 is also higher than the projected global average prevalence among women of 6.6%.[...]

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