Chapter 2

Nicotine and Tobacco Addiction

Globally, more than 1.1 billion people use tobacco, with adult male smokers (945 million) significantly outnumbering women (180 million). This alarming number represents about one-third of the global population aged 15 and above. It has grown substantially in low- and-middle-income countries (82% world’s smokers). In the ASEAN region, there are currently 122 million adult smokers, half of whom live in Indonesia (65 million).

Map: Smoking Prevalence - Adult Male & Female Smokers in ASEAN

This highly additive product is commonly used by different segments of the population including vulnerable groups such as women, youth, and children. More than 15 billion cigarettes are smoked every day worldwide (1.327 billion sticks in ASEAN). In 2017, an estimated 546 billion cigarettes were sold in ASEAN countries with 94% primarily consumed in Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Due to the expansion of the world’s population and dynamic economic growth, the number of smokers is expected to reach at least 2 billion people by 2030. Among ASEAN countries, adult male smoking prevalence is highest in Indonesia (66%) and lowest in Singapore (21.1%). Adult female smoking rates are particularly high (between 5.8% and 8.4%) in Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Philippines.

World cigarette consumption by region

Distribution of total adult smokers in ASEAN countries

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Adult Smoking

Numbers Don't Lie: Percentage of adult male and female smokers in ASEAN

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Numbers don’t lie: Adult smokers in ASEAN

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*The study was a population-based survey of adult aged 25-64.

Cigarette per capita consumption in ASEAN (2011 and 2016)

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Number of cigarettes smoked daily by adult smokers in ASEAN

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Average age of smoking initiation in ASEAN

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Number and percentage of adults who use smokeless tobacco in ASEAN

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Smokeless tobacco use highest in Myanmar (43.2%), Malaysia (10.9%) and Cambodia (4.9%)

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Quit Attempts

Percentage of current smokers (aged ≥ 15 years old) who intend to quit within next 12 months

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Percentage of current smokers who attempted to quit in the past 12 months

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Years gained by quitting smoking by age

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Youth Smoking

Numbers don’t lie: Percentage of smoking among boys and girls (13-15 years)* in ASEAN

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Numbers don’t lie: Total % of youth smoking prevalence in ASEAN

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*Percentage of students who smoked cigarettes on one or more days in the past 30 days.
**The data is based on currently use any tobacco product anytime during the past 30 days.
***Youth smoking prevalence (4%) is a consolidated figure from three different surveys among youth aged 13-20 between 2014 and 2016.

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Youth Smoking Initiation

Early initiation of youth smoking among ever smokers* in ASEAN

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*Percentage of ever smokers who first smoked before the age of 10 years
**Percentage of students who first tried cigarette smoking before age of 14 years
*** Percentage of ever smokers who first smoked at the aged of 7 or younger.

Individuals who start smoking at younger ages are more likely to smoke as adults.

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Intentions of non-smoking youths to start smoking in the next year

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Smoking initiation trend among Indonesian between 1995 and 2013

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  • New smokers aged 10-14 almost double in 18 years
  • New smokers aged 15-19 increased by 13.6 percentage points between 2010 and 2013
  • Total number of new smokers between 10 and 19 years old: 16.4 million/year

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Tobacco industry recruits replacement smokers

Death from Tobacco

230,862 Indonesians per year
632.5 Indonesians per day

Recruit new Smokers

16.4 million new Indonesian smokers (10 - 19 years old)/year
45,000 new youth smokers (below 19 years old)/day

Youth susceptibility to tobacco advertising and promotion in ASEAN

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*Advertising seen at POS

Percentage of youths offered free cigarettes by a tobacco company representative in ASEAN