Smokers spent $700 billion on cigarettes in 2017, says WHO

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  1. The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that global cigarette sales in 2017 stood at $700 billion. WHO has noted that tobacco is the only legal drug that kills many of its users when used exactly as intended by manufacturers.
  2. Globally, around 6 million people die each year due to tobacco consumption. Tobacco use leads to cardiovascular diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and cancer. It also heightens the risk of getting communicable diseases such as tuberculosis.
  3. India accounts for less than 2% of global consumption of tobacco in form of cigarettes. However, consumption of smokeless tobacco is very high and accounts for 84% of the global consumption.
  4. The Indian government had launched National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP) in 2008 to control tobacco consumption and minimize tobacco consumption related deaths. In 2016, the government has launched mTobaccoCessation program to provide targeted support to help people overcome the personal challenge of maintaining efforts to quit tobacco use.
  5. At the international level, the WHO has put in place WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), 2005. It provides a framework for supply and demand reduction measures for tobacco control at the national, regional and global level.