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Top 10 African countries leading the fight against tobacco use

Top 10 African countries leading the fight against tobacco use

Tobacco use in Africa varies significantly due to cultural, economic, and public health factors. While some nations struggle with high rates of tobacco consumption, others distinguish themselves with remarkably low prevalence.

The effective reduction in tobacco use in these countries underscores the impact of robust tobacco control policies, extensive public awareness initiatives, and collaborative international efforts.

Despite challenges like illicit tobacco trade and entrenched cultural attitudes towards smoking, these nations serve as compelling examples of successful strategies in mitigating tobacco-related harm and enhancing public health outcomes.

By maintaining a commitment to prioritizing tobacco control measures and drawing lessons from their successes, these countries can further diminish tobacco use, fostering healthier prospects for their populations.

Read also: Top 10 African countries battling highest tobacco use

According to the latest WHO tobacco trends report, there are approximately 1.25 billion adult tobacco users worldwide. The report emphasizes a notable decline in global tobacco use rates, with approximately 1 in 5 adults currently using tobacco, down from 1 in 3 in 2000.

Businessday reported these findings, highlighting significant progress, the report indicates that 150 countries have succeeded in reducing tobacco use. For instance, Brazil has achieved a 35% reduction since 2010, while the Netherlands is approaching its target of a 30% reduction, largely attributed to the effective implementation of MPOWER tobacco control measures.

Here are the top10 African countries leading the fight against tobacco use (estimated tobacco users in thousands)

Sao Tome and Principe

Estimated Tobacco Users: 10
This can be attributed to stringent tobacco control policies and limited tobacco industry influence in this remote archipelago.


Estimated Tobacco Users: 17
The country has implemented comprehensive tobacco control measures, including smoking bans in public places and aggressive anti-smoking campaigns.

Read also: WHO accuses tobacco companies of aiming at young customers

Cabo Verde

Estimated Tobacco Users: 45
Cabo Verde has made significant strides in reducing tobacco use through educational programs and tobacco taxation. These efforts have contributed to a decline in smoking rates among its population.


Estimated Tobacco Users: 52
Djibouti has focused on tobacco control policies as part of its broader public health initiatives. The government has enforced bans on smoking in certain public areas and implemented awareness campaigns to discourage tobacco use.

Read also: Towards a smoke-free Nigeria: Lessons from Sweden’s success


Estimated Tobacco Users: 67
Eswatini has tackled tobacco use through legislative measures and public health campaigns. Efforts include tobacco advertising bans and support for smoking cessation programs aimed at reducing the prevalence of smoking.


Estimated Tobacco Users: 82
Comoros has been proactive in combating tobacco use through policy interventions and health education. The government has worked closely with international organizations to implement effective tobacco control strategies.

Read also: WHO wants Nigerian govt to ban tobacco products


Estimated Tobacco Users: 91
Guinea-Bissau has adopted various measures to curb tobacco consumption, including tobacco taxation and restrictions on smoking in public places. These efforts have contributed to a lower prevalence of smoking compared to neighboring countries.

Equatorial Guinea

Estimated Tobacco Users: 128
In Equatorial Guinea, efforts to reduce tobacco use have been supported by legislative measures and public health campaigns. The country has implemented smoking bans in public spaces and promoted awareness about the health risks associated with tobacco.

Read also: Tobacco harm reduction: Nnanyelugo, others push Sweden model for smoke-free future Nigeria


Estimated Tobacco Users: 138
Eritrea has implemented strict tobacco control policies to combat smoking. These include bans on tobacco advertising and smoking in public places, as well as efforts to promote smoke-free environments.


Estimated Tobacco Users: 181
Gabon has made efforts in tobacco control through legislative measures and health promotion initiatives. The government has implemented tobacco taxation policies and supports smoking cessation programs to reduce tobacco use among its population.