Despite smoking rates in most developed nations either leveling off or declining, developing nations are seeing an increase in cigarette consumption. Over 1 billion people in the world regularly smoke cigarettes – 800 million of which are men. 80% of all smokers now live in countries with low or middle incomes and 60% of smokers live in just 10 countries. From 1965 to 2012, the percentage of smokers in the United States declined from 42% of the adult population down to 18%. Young adults are the age group most likely to smoke. The smoking rate declines as one’s age increases. In Lebanon, we rank the 3rd in the world for the most cigarette consumption. 3023.15 cigarettes are smoked per capita each year in Lebanon. The estimated rate of cigarette consumption in Lebanon is 12.4 packs per person per month. This is 3 times that of Syria and 12 times that of Singapore. The net revenue from tobacco in Lebanon is estimated at $271 million (USD). This takes into account the following:
Subsidies to Lebanon’s 24,000 tobacco farmers
Revenues from licensing
All other net gains for the government, international tobacco companies, distributors and retailers, and the Regie du Tabac et Tombacs — the state-run entity under the Ministry of Finance, which oversees Lebanon’s tobacco industry.
The overall cost to the economy totals $326.7 million (USD). This includes:
Health care costs
Environmental costs due to forest fires and street waste clean-up
The balance of the revenue and costs leaves Lebanon with a net loss of about $55.4 million (USD). The real figure is estimated to be higher since the study doesn’t account for the effects of regular exposure of second-hand smoke. Montenegro topped the chart with 4124.53 cigarettes per adult per year and Belarus came in second with 3831.62 cigarettes per capita. Macedonia and Russia came in 4th and 5th positions respectively. Kiribati, Solomon Islands, and Guinea smoke the least with 28.03, 26.42 and 14.96 cigarettes smoked per capita each year.
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