Over 1 billion people worldwide smoke cigars and cigarettes. The number accounts for approximately 20 percent of the world’s population. About 80 percent of the smokers are men. Tobacco farming as well as cigarette manufacturing, distribution, and sales constitute major economic activities in many countries in the world. It is estimated that more than 33 million people work in the tobacco industry.
While tobacco consumption has been declining in some countries, particularly Western countries like the U.S., it continues to grow in other parts of the world. The countries where people smoke the most are the following:
- Montenegro – The World Bank classifies this sovereign state in Southeastern Europe as an upper middle-income country with a per capita income of $6,783. Figures from the World Health Organization suggest that the average adult in Montenegro smokes 4,125 cigarettes per year, putting Montenegro in the lead for cigarette-smoking frequency. More than 137,000 adults out of a population of 621,383 smoke cigarettes each day.
- Belarus – The level of cigarette consumption in Belarus has been increasing steadily. The average cigarette consumption of people age 15 years and over is approximately 97 packs a year. The number of cigarettes per adult per year is 3,831.
- Lebanon – The annual average cigarette consumption in Lebanon is 119 packs per person. The average consumption rate is 3,023 cigarettes per adult per year.
- Macedonia – Smoking tobacco is a tradition in this country known for its high per capita consumption of cigarettes. More than 642,000 adults and more than 5,000 children use tobacco products every day. Macedonian adults smoke an average of 2,732 cigarettes per year.
- Russia – It is reported that 44 million people, approximately 40 percent of the 142 million population, are smokers. More than 60 percent of Russian males and 22 percent of Russian females are smokers. On average, adults smoke 2,690 cigarettes each year.
- Slovenia – More than 427,000 adults and more than 7,000 children use tobacco everyday in Slovenia. Slovenia is ranked just behind Russia with average adult smoking rates at 2,637 cigarettes per year.
Countries in Eastern Europe dominate the list of top consumers of cigarettes and other tobacco products in the world. They also top the list of countries that consume the most alcohol-related products.