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Are you one of the 1 billion smokers in the world?

Written by Poorva Chavan |Updated : May 14, 2015 11:32 AM IST

Global Statistics on Addictive Behaviours: 2014 Status Report has revealed some shocking figures. While governments across the world are struggling to bring stringent laws to curb tobacco and other drugs usage, the efforts seem to go in vain. According to the report, 240 million adult people in the world which amounts to 4.9% of total world population, are addicted to alcohol out of which 7.8% are men, and 1.5% are women. Furthermore, 22.5% adults (one billion) smoke tobacco, out of which 32.0% are men and 7.0% women. These statistics paint a very grim picture as alcohol abuse causes an estimated 257 disability-adjusted life years lost per 100 000 population and tobacco use is responsible for 11.11% of deaths in males and 6% of deaths in females each year.

The report also sheds light on addiction to psychoactive drugs. Cannabis addiction is most prevalent as 3.5% of the population being addicted to it whereas, less than one percent population is addicted to other drugs. Also, 15 million that is 0.3% of the population injects drugs that cost a loss of 83 disability-adjusted life years per 100 000 population. (Read: How to get over alcohol abuse and kick the bottle)

The report's lead author Linda Gowing, associate professor at University of Adelaide in South Australia said that compiling all this data was very challenging but it will be useful to policy makers and researchers as its gives a global scenario in one accessible report.

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The report also points at the huge regional differences in the use of addictive drugs. In Eastern Europe, 13.6 litres of alcohol is consumed per head of population each year, making them the heaviest drinkers followed by Northern Europe where 11.5 litres of alcohol is consumed per head. The Asian continent has the lowest consumption of alcohol at 2.1 litres per head. (Read: Alcohol abuse - what you need to know)

Eastern Europe fairs worst when it comes to smoking addiction too with 30 percent of adults being addicted. Oceania closely follows it at 29.5 percent, Western Europe at 28.5 percent, and Africa at 14 percent. Among the 15 million people in the world who inject drugs, 0.8% belong to North and Central America and the Caribbean. It is more than twice the rate in Northern Europe at 0.3 percent. (Read: Revealed - why smoking is so terribly addictive)

The report concludes that addiction to alcohol and tobacco use is the highest and is most harmful.

Image Source: Getty Images


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