Global efforts to end smoking halted – action needed to prevent one billion deaths

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An international commission of five experts, including Daily Express health columnist Dr Rosemary Leonard, called for stronger interventions to help more of the world’s 1.14 billion tobacco users kick the habit.

They found the UK was in the top 20 countries for number of smokers at eight million in 2018, although far lower for prevalence. Most are in low- and middle-income countries such as China and India.

The report from the International Commission to Reignite the Fight Against Smoking warned that with current trends, tobacco deaths will grow from 100 million in the 20th century to one billion in the 21st century.

Dr Leonard, a GP, said in many poorer countries health care workers “have neither the time or knowledge to help patients to stop smoking”.

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