We all have a family member or friend who smokes. Something we see as natural in our culture but few know when it started. In this article, we will try to answer that question and find out the countries where people are smoking the most.
Tobacco has been growing wild in the Americas for nearly 8000 years. Around 2,000 years ago tobacco began to be chewed and smoked during cultural or religious ceremonies and events. The first European to discover smoking was Christopher Columbus
In 1531 tobacco was cultivated for the first time in Europe (at Santo Domingo). By 1600 tobacco use had spread across Europe and England and was being used as a monetary standard, a practice that continued throughout the following century. By the 1700s smoking had become more widespread and a tobacco industry had developed an industry
Cigarette making machines were developed in the latter half of the 1800s. The first such machines produced about 200 cigarettes per minute (today’s machines produce about 9,000 per minute). Cheap mass production and the use of cigarette advertising allowed tobacco companies to expand their markets during this period.
The countries where people are smoking the most are…
10. Bosnia and Herzegovina
This small European country, Bosnia, and Herzegovina with a total population of about 3.6 million people. Having gained independence in 1992 from Yugoslavia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina has a large number of tobacco consumers with the per capita cigarettes smoked figure being 2233.46.
No 9 spot goes to the most populated country in the world, China. If one goes by the actual number of smokers, China should head the list as it has the highest tobacco consumers. With a per capita cigarette smoked figure of 2249.79, China does makes its presence felt in every field.
More than 80% of all smokers now live in countries with low or middle incomes, and 60% in just 10 countries, a list headed by China. China is the world’s most populated country and is also the leading country in the cigarette industry. In 2014, China produced and consumed more than 30% of the cigarettes in the world. There is a strong relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and smoking behaviors.
Area wise, Luxembourg might just be the smallest country in this list. With a population of just above half a million, the per capita cigarettes smoked by people over 15 years is very high at 2283. It is ranked at No 8 on this list. This makes it the country with the highest rate of smokers.
Normally, the countries with low and middle GDP levels are the ones that smoke the most. Belgium, at No 7 is a surprise entry, with a figure of 2353.28 cigarettes smoked per person per year. Belgium ranks quite high as far as tobacco consumers are concerned.
If you observe the list closely, most of the countries here are war-torn countries with the possible exception of China and Belgium. Maybe, depression during the war is one reason for having the most smokers. Slovenia with a per capita figure of 2637.03 is at No 6 on this list.
China and Russia have developed a habit of ranking in the top 10 countries in almost any category. Russia might be one of the largest countries in the world, but as far as cigarette smokers are concerned they are at No 5 with per capita cigarettes smoked at 2690.33.
A war-torn country, Macedonia is at No 4 on this list. Having a population of just around 2 million, the per capita cigarettes smoked is very high at 2732.23.
Stress from the war makes people take up smoking. Lebanon at No 3 is a prime example of having a high per capita cigarettes smoked per person figure at 3023.15
Had the USSR not split into different states, they would have easily topped this list with the most smokers in the world. We have seen Russia at No 5. Now, we have Belarus with a per capita cigarettes consumed figure at 3832.62 at the No 2 spot.
The country with the highest tobacco consumers in the world with Montenegro topping this list by a huge margin of 4124.53 per capita cigarettes smoked by persons over 15 years of age.