The World Health Organization said in its latest report that Serbia has close to 2.8 million smokers over the age of 15.
The WHO said that smokers will account for an estimated 34.3 per cent of the population of Serbia by 2025, significantly less than the 51.5 per cent in the year 2000. Serbia has a population of around 7 million.
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The WHO report said that the number of smokers was dropping at the global level to stand at around 1.3 billion or about 60 million less than in the year 2000. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that this is the first time after a number of years that the use of what he said are lethal tobacco products has dropped thanks to decisions by governments to impose stricter measures towards the tobacco industry.
According to WHO data, more than seven million people have died as a direct consequence of the use of tobacco.
In Serbia, about one-third of adults consume cigarettes and other tobacco products and 15,000 of them die each year from smoking.
However, the estimates for 2025 are lower than expected as the overall plan was a 30% decrease. One of the measures that the state is trying to introduce is a ban on smoking in restaurants.
The Serbian authorities announced this measure at the beginning of this year, but nothing concrete has happened so far.
This is due to the fact that the law on the protection of the population from exposure to tobacco smoke, which bans smoking in public places, allows smoking in catering establishments which span more than 80 square metres. In such facilities, owners are required to leave half of the available space for non-smokers.
The WHO also stated in the report that, over the last two decades, global tobacco use has fallen from 1.397 billion smokers in 2000 to 1.377 billion in 2018, a drop of about 60 million.
This is largely due to the decrease in the number of women smoking from 346 million in 2000 to 244 million in 2018. At the same time, the number of men consuming tobacco products increased by about 40 million, from 1.050 billion in 2000 to 1.093 billion in 2018.
Men account for 82% of world tobacco consumption.
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