Top 10 countries with the Highest Tobacco Smoking Rates

Tobacco use remains a leading preventable cause of death despite a fall in global smoking rates over recent decades, killing more than 8 million people annually, according to the World Health Organization.  Well, it does not stop people from smoking, especially not in the Balkans or Oceania. Globally, 20.1% of the people smoke. More than 80% of the world’s tobacco users live in low- to middle-income countries. Here’s where the prevalence of tobacco smoking is highest.

The leader is an Oceanian country, the tiny island of Nauru, with 48.5% smokers, followed by Myanmar or Burma, with 44.1%. Serbia is a European champion with a staggering 39.8% of smokers, followed by another Oceanian country, Papua New Guinea, with 39.3%, and we are not moving too far from here to find the No. 5 – East Timor or Timor Leste with 39.2%. If we are not in this part of the world, we are surely in the Balkans, where Bulgaria sits easily in the 6th position – 39% of the Bulgarians smoke. Lebanon follows with 38.2%, and it is the Arabic country where people smoke most.

We go back to the far Southeast of our planet, where Indonesians occupy the 8th place with 37.6% of the population that smoke. Surprisingly, Latvia is 9th, with 37%, and not so surprisingly, Croatia completes the “Balkan Three,” with 36.9% of the population using tobacco.

Generally, one in 3 men and 1 in 12 women smoke, while in Serbia, women smoke more than men, which is rare. There is a proverb “smokes like a Turk”, but it is not so true nowadays; the percentage of Turks who smoke is 30.7%, and they occupy 26th place globally, while, for instance, the French are much more addicted to tobacco – 33.4% and they are on the 17th place. 22% of Germans, 27.7% of Spaniards, 24% of Swedes, 23% of the Americans, and 23.1% of the Italians also smoke.