Argentina - Latin America’s biggest smokers..

December 14, 2009 - BUENOS AIRES - Argentina tops the list of countries that smoke the most in Latin America, consuming 1,014 cigarettes annually for every inhabitant over age 15, media reports said Sunday, December 13th citing a World Lung Foundation study.

Argentina is followed on the list by Paraguay, with annual consumption of 968 cigarettes, and Chile, with 909, while Peru has the lowest cigarette consumption in the region at 129 annually per inhabitant.

European countries, however, are the leaders in cigarette consumption, with Greece consuming 3,017 cigarettes annually for every inhabitant over age 15, followed by Slovenia, with 2,537, and Ukraine, with 2,526.

Argentina is the only Latin American country that did not sign the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control launched by the World Health Organization at the start of this decade, an agreement signed by only 16 countries around the world.

Signatories agreed to ban tobacco advertising, increase taxes on tobacco products and promote smoke-free environments.

Some 33 percent of the adult population, according to the health ministry study, smokes in Argentina, where 40,000 people die each year from smoking-related diseases.

Reference: Argentines are Latin America’s biggest smokers by EFE, IANS, Health News, 12/14/2009.

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