An estimated 8.7 million people are killed from tobacco each year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Of these, 1.3 million people do not use tobacco directly themselves, but are exposed to it second-hand.
While these figures are still high, progress has been made in terms of countries adopting health-promoting policies to try to curb their populations’ tobacco usage. In the WHO’s 2023 report on the global tobacco epidemic, released on Monday, the organization notes that now some 5.6 billion people live in countries where at least one of the six best practice measures promoted by the WHO (MPOWER) for tobacco control has been introduced - that's 71 percent of the world's population.
As the following chart shows, around 79 percent of WHO member countries have introduced warning labels on packaging, albeit not all to the same extent. At the same time, almost 38 percent of the surveyed countries have implemented strict regulations on no-smoking areas, while around 34 percent have strict bans on tobacco advertising. 44 countries still have no tobacco control measures in place.