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The World Bank and Tobacco Control: The Facts

Tobacco use is the world’s leading underlying cause of preventable death.

  • In the last decade, global deaths from tobacco have increased from 2.1 million to 6 million.
  • Every year 600,000 non-tobacco users, mostly women and children, die from exposure to tobacco smoke.
  • Worldwide, 200 million adult women smoke cigarettes. In 25 countries, girls smoke more than boys.
  • Smoking is responsible for about 20% of global tuberculosis (TB) incidence, and reduces the effectiveness of TB treatment. About 90,000 TB patients died last year because they smoked.
  • Between 2000 and 2008, total costs attributable to tobacco in China more than quadrupled, from US$7.2 billion to US$28.9 billion.
  • In Bangladesh, direct costs of smoking are estimated at US$386 million, or more than 1% of GDP.
  • Between 2003-2008, 11.3% of Egypt’s total health expenditure was used to treat tobacco-related illness.
  • In 2003, Vietnamese smokers spent 3.6 times more on tobacco than on education and 1.9 times more that on health care.
  • In all World Health Organization (WHO) regions except in Europe, cigarettes became much more affordable between 2000 and 2010.

The World Bank has been a global leader on tobacco control.

The Bank remains committed to help countries halt and reverse the use of tobacco.

Last updated: 2012-05-31

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