In Switzerland, 21% of the adult population on average are daily smokers, according to a report from the World Health Organisation.
That is firmly in line with average rates of current smoking among adults globally, which have declined to 21% in 2015 down from 24% in 2007.
But among high-income countries like Switzerland, there’s a striking gender difference: the average rates of smoking among adult men dropped to 29% in 2015 down from 34% in 2007; for adult women the rates dropped to 18% in 2015 down from 21% in 2007.
A reportexternal link published by WHO on Wednesday about the “global tobacco epidemic” focuses on monitoring tobacco use and prevention policies. It finds that one third of countries, including Switzerland, have comprehensive systems to monitor tobacco use.
A decade ago, only one fourth of countries monitored tobacco use at WHO’s recommended levels.
Smoking in public
Comprehensive smoke-free legislation is currently in place for almost 1.5 billion people in 55 countries. But in Switzerland, the reports finds only minimal public places that are completely smoke-free.
It also says that cigarettes are less affordable in Switzerland since 2008.
According to WHO, raising taxes to increase tobacco product prices is the most effective and cost-efficient means of reducing tobacco use and encouraging users to quit, but is one of the least used tobacco control measures.
Controlling tobacco use is a key part of the United Nations’ 2030 sustainable development agendaexternal link. Tobacco use is the leading single preventable cause of death worldwide, killing over 7 million people each year and causing more than $1.4 trillion in health care costs and lost productivity, WHO says.
swissinfo.ch and agencies/jmh