World has more than one billion smokers and 240 million drinkers, claims study

A new report has unveiled that more than one billion (20 percent) people in the world smoke while more than 240 million (5 percent) of the population have an alcohol use disorder. The research conducted on a global scale also revealed that nearly 15 million people are addicted to drug abuse.

Lead researcher Linda Gowing, associate professor at the University of Adelaide in South Australia said in a statement, “Bringing all this data together has been very challenging but having this global snapshot in one accessible resource should prove invaluable for policymakers and researchers.”

The study reveals huge diversity among alcohol consumers. In the research, it was found that Eastern Europe has heaviest drinkers, where on an average 13.6 litres of alcohol is consumed by an individual each year. While Central, Southern and Western Asia have the lowest consumption rate with 2.1 litres per head each year.

Talking of smoking, there is a close competition between Easter Europe, Oceania and Wester Europe with 30 percent, 29.5 percent and 28.5 percent of adults addicted to smoking respectively. Africa was next on the list where 14 percent of adults were found addicted to smoking.

North and Central America with the Caribbean have the highest rates of injecting drug use at 0.8 percent, which is more than twice the rate in Northern Europe at 0.3 percent. Recently a report by Global Statistics on Addictive Behaviours suggests that the legal drug causes many times more harm to society than illicit drugs.

After seeing these mind boggling data, Professor Robert West from University College London said it is striking to see such huge numbers. Moreover, selling tobacco and drugs legally is devastating for global health.

The study appeared in the journal Addiction.

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