Smoking Around The World in 2017

October 11, 2017

Smoking Around The World in 2017

Each year since 2012, October has become the month of abstention with the NHS’s annual ‘Stoptober’ campaign created to encourage smokers to kick their unhealthy habit for 28 days. We were curious to see how the UK’s smoking habit stacked up against the rest of the world so we put together some research and the results are staggering!

Using the World Health Organisation’s data on the percentage of male and female smokers in each country compared with Numbeo’s data on the average cost of a Marlboro pack of 20 cigarettes, we calculated the annual spend on smoking per capita and per country.



Smoking In Britain

The UK is the world’s 5th biggest spender on smoking coughing up over £34 billion each year on its habit. The average cost of a pack of cigarettes is just over £9, and with over 10 million smokers in the country, each smoking adult contributes over £3000 of their pay packet each year.

This is despite the surge in popularity of e-cigarettes where according to the Office for National Statistics around 3 million Brits now consider themselves regular ‘vapers’.

China Is Biggest Consumer Of Cigarettes

Nearly 50% of the male population in China smokes compared with just 1.8% of the female population according to The World Health Organisation. With a massive annual spend of almost £236 billion, Chinese smokers manage to puff their way through over 2 trillion cigarettes each year.

European Smoking Habits

Germany is officially Europe’s biggest consumer of cigarettes spending more than £41bn (almost €46bn) on smoking each year, just ahead of the UK. Norway tops the chart in per capita spending as each Norwegian shells out close to £4000 per year. It’s no wonder with the average price of a 20 pack of cigarettes costing Norwegians £10.46 (€11.56) making them some of the most expensive cigarettes in the world.

Top 10 Biggest Smokers Per Year 

Rank  Country Annual Spend
1.  China £236bn
2. India £89bn
3. USA £82bn
4. Germany £41bn
5.  UK £34bn
6. France £33bn
7. Indonesia £31bn
8. Russia £26.34bn
9. Japan £26.32
10. Italy £21bn


Top Ten Biggest Spenders Per Capita

 Rank Country Annual Spend Per Capita
1. Australia £5,351
2. Norway £3,713
3. Ireland £3,533
4. Iceland £3,318
5. UK £3,295
6. Canada £2,746
7. Singapore £2,614
8. Israel £2,547
9. Switzerland £2,290
10. France £2,248



World Health Organisation


United Nations