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Addictive Behaviour Alarming, 1 Billion Still Smoke

Despite anti-smoking awareness campaign acorss the world, still one billion people smoke compared to 240 million who are alcoholics, said a new study.

In terms of percentage, it is 20% of global population that still smokes compared to 5% of the world population that consumes alcohol, while the study braced ahead to estimate 15 million addicts to drugs like heroin or cannabis.

Photo: Matton (Uppsala University, Sweden)

Photo: Matton (Uppsala University, Sweden)

The report titled “Global Statistics on Addictive Behaviours: 2014 Status Report” says legal drugs are more harmful than illegal drugs in terms of fatalities. “For example, alcohol use is estimated to result in loss of 257 disability adjusted life year per 100,000 of population compared with just 83 for illicit drugs,” said researchers.

In the same vein, the heaviest drinkers are in Eastern Europe where the highest 13.6 litres per capita alcohol is consumed every year and the number is 11.5 litres in Northerrn Europe.

Central, Southern and Western Asia have figured lower with a consumption of 2.1 litres. Besides alcohol, Eastern Europe also tops in terms of smokers at 30% of adults. Oceania and Western Europe follow closely at 29.5% and 28.5%. In Africa smoking is half of the number at 14%.

As far as drinking is concerned, North and Central America score highest rates of injecting drug use at 0.8%, which is almost double the number in Northern Europe at 0.3%.

Explaining the accuracy of the data, lead author Linda Gowing of the University of Adelaide in South Australia, says: “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 journal Addiction has commissioned the report.

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