Across the world more men than women smoke

13/12/2011 15:00

In nearly all countries of the world, more men than women smoke. Also, the percentage of people who smoke daily decreased nearly everywhere between 1999 and 2009.

Women smokers outnumber men only in Sweden

In 2009, 26 percent of Dutch men aged 15 years and older smoked on a daily basis, compared with 20 percent of women. On average in OECD countries 27 percent of men smoke daily, and 17 percent of women. The percentage of women smokers is highest in Greece, although more men there smoke. Only in Sweden is the percentage of women who smoke daily (15 percent) higher than the percentage of men (14 percent).

In the large non-OECD countries, too - India, China, Brazil, Russia, South Africa and Indonesia – more men than women smoke. In China, India and Indonesia women who smoke daily are even very rare. Chinese and Indonesian men, on the other hand, are often smokers.

Percentages of daily smokers (15 years and older) in some countries, 2009

Percentages of daily smokers (15 years and older) in some countries, 2009

Smoking decreasing

The percentage of daily smokers in the Netherlands fell from 27.8 percent in 1999 to 22.6 percent in 2009, a decrease of nearly 19 percent. With the exception of Greece and the Czech Republic, the percentage of daily smokers has fallen in all OECD countries. The strongest decrease was in Denmark: nearly 40 percent.

In the large non-OECD countries, too, the percentage of smokers fell in the same period. In South Africa it even fell by nearly 43 percent. 

Change in percentage of daily smokers (15 years and older) in some countries, 1999-2009

Change in percentage of daily smokers (15 years and older) in some countries, 1999-2009

Jan-Willem Bruggink