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Smoking in Malawi

There has been a downwards trend in current smoking prevalence in the general population in Malawi. Smoking prevalence was 18% in 2000 and declined to 12% in 2015, with a further drop to 10% projected by 2025. For men the prevalence decreased from 28.5% in 2000 to 21% in 2015, with a further decrease to 18% projected by 2025. For women a prevalence of 8% in 2000 decreased to 4% in 2015, and is projected to decrease further to around 2.5% by 2025. The WHO published prevalence trend estimates in tobacco smoking, as shown here, in their 2018 2nd edition report, which show slightly different smoking prevalence to the WHO country profiles. Data for the estimates are not age standardised, and were obtained from WHO databases. The trend lines are projections, not predictions, of future attainment. A projection indicates a likely endpoint if the country maintains its tobacco control efforts at the same level that it has implemented them to date. Therefore the impact of recent interventions could alter the expected endpoint shown in the projection. While the methods of estimation used in the first and second editions of the WHO report are the same, the volume of data available for the second edition is larger i.e. 200 more national surveys. The results presented are therefore more robust.

Read articles from Malawi

November 16, 2023 by

Malawi ‘s ratification of WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control comes into effect

With this historic decision, Malawi joins a community of 182 other Parties to the Convention, affirming the country’s high-level political commitment to combatting the global tobacco epidemic and prioritizing public health and well-being. The Convention, which Malawi ratified in August 2023, is a crucial international treaty designed to address the severe public health risks associated with tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke. Its ratification by Malawi demonstrates the country’s determination to protect present and future generations from the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke.  

August 07, 2023 by

Malawi's tobacco sales up 55% in latest season: regulator

Malawi's sales of tobacco, its biggest foreign exchange earner, increased to roughly $282 million in the latest season, up from $182 million a year earlier, its industry regulator said. Dwindling tobacco revenues in recent years have contributed to acute dollar shortages that have resulted in a lack of imported fuel, fertiliser and medicines in the donor-dependent southern African country. Malawi has turned to the International Monetary Fund for financial support and launched debt restructuring talks with creditors.

July 01, 2022 by

Tobacco harm reduction is here for good

Malawi: Most people have probably internalised HIV and AIDS messaging that promotes total abstinence, being faithful to one partner, or using a condom-'Condomise' (A-B-C).

A record of massive condom sales suggests that, in contrast to being faithful to one partner and abstaining, most people may have chosen the 'Condomise' option.

A similar approach to 'enjoying' sex without contracting a Sexually Transmitted Infection has been researched and proven that people who are addicted to smoking (Nicotine) can still enjoy the pleasure of smoking without being harmed by the tobacco.

May 12, 2021 by

As tobacco declines, Malawi must switch to cannabis - president

Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera warned on Wednesday that his country's leading foreign exchange earner, tobacco, was in terminal decline and he urged a switch to high-growth crops like cannabis, which was legalised locally for some uses last year.

Chakwera made the comments during a state of the nation address in which he said tobacco was expected to earn less than $200 million in 2021, a figure roughly similar to the past two years but well below previous annual earnings that used to top $350 million.