Tobacco use is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, over 20 different types or subtypes of cancer, and many other debilitating health conditions.

Worldwide, more than 8 million people die from tobacco use every year (more than 7 million active smokers and over 1 million non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke), including 1 million in the Americas. Most tobacco-related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, which are often targets of intensive tobacco industry interference and marketing.

In the Region of the Americas, tobacco use accounts for 15% of the deaths from cardiovascular disease, 24% of those from cancer, and 45% of those from chronic respiratory diseases.



Tobacco use in adolescents

In 2020, the prevalence of tobacco use among adolescents aged 13 to 15 years in the Americas was 11.3%, ranging from a high of 23.3% in Dominica to a low of 6.9% in Brazil. In most countries, this prevalence was higher in men than women, except in Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil, where it is high in women. 



Tobacco use in adults

In 2017, the estimated prevalence of tobacco smoking in adults in the Region of the Americas was 15.2%, which is higher in men (19.2%) than in women (11.1%). The prevalence of tobacco smoking varies from a high of 44.7% in Chile to a low of 5.7% in Panama, and it is consistently higher in men than in women across countries. Explore other prevalence indicators in the visualization below.



Trends in tobacco use

Tobacco use is one of the main common risk factors for noncommunicable disease morbidity and mortality. The WHO Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013-2020 includes a global voluntary target of a 30% relative reduction in the prevalence of current tobacco use in persons aged 15 years and over by 2025 relative to its level in 2010.

The prevalence of tobacco use in adults has significantly declined from 2000 to 2018 in most of the countries with available data in the Region of the Americas, except the Bahamas, where the trend reversed to increase since 2015 in men, driving to a stagnated trend in overall adults.

According to projections to 2025, the Bahamas, Barbados, Chile, Cuba in men, El Salvador and Haiti in men and both sexes combined, and the United States of America are not on track to achieve the target by 2025.

Note: GMF refers to the NCD Global Monitoring Framework