Partners in Creating the Future
Word No Tabacco Day
Word No Tabacco Day
Thursday, 30 May 2024


World No Tobacco Day WNTD

:Jordanians with very poor means spend on cigarette


  • 25 times more than they spend on health
  •  10 times more than they spend on education
  • 1.5 times more than they spend on food

Trends of tobacco use in Jordan currently indicate there is a hindrance to  achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with regard to poverty and inequality elimination, premature mortality reduction, economic development, and protection of the environment.

  Jordan’s total annual economic losses from current levels of tobacco use amounts to 1.6 billion Jordanian Dinars.

Jordan joins the world in observing World No Tobacco Day WNTD, which falls on May 31st of each year. The theme of WNTD 2024 is focused on advocating for an end to the targeting of youth and came under the slogan ‘Youth step in and speak out.’

Commemorating World No Tobacco Day WNTD 2024 will give young people across the world a platform to urge governments to protect them from the aggressive,  manipulative practices of the tobacco and related industries. The industry targets young people to achieve lifelong profits by creating a new wave of addiction. Children are now using e-cigarettes at rates higher than adults in all regions.

Facts and figures about tobacco use in Jordan:

• The World Health Organization WHO estimated the number of tobacco users and smokers in Jordan in 2022 at 2.77 million people, 2.29 million of whom are males and 483,000 are females1.

• Jordan came in first place as the country with the most smokers among individuals aged 15 years and above in the Middle East, at a rate of 36% in 2022, followed by Lebanon at a rate of 34%, and Egypt at a rate of 24.7%. In Jordan, the percentage is expected to increase in 2025 to about 37.1% and rise to 38.3% in 2030, as stated by a recent report of the World Health Organization2 WHO: Trends in Tobacco Use 2000-2030.

• Results of the national step-by-step survey (STEPs) to monitor risk factors associated with non-communicable diseases 2019 showed that the percentage of smokers among the population out of the total survey sample aged (18-69 years) amounted to 41%; smokers of electronic cigarettes and vape devices constituted 9.2%. Tobacco prevalence was also higher among men compared to women, as it reached 65.3% of traditional tobacco smokers (manufactured cigarettes, hand-rolled cigarettes, hookahs, pipes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco), and 15% of users of modern products (electronic cigarettes and vape devices), compared to 16.4% of women smokers of traditional tobacco whereas 2.4% were users of modern products.

• Traditional tobacco products consumed by males were primarily manufactured cigarettes (84%), shisha (21%), and manufactured or hand-rolled cigarettes (18%). Manufactured cigarettes were also the main product used among female smokers as reported by 61% of survey respondents. On the other hand, hookah smoking among females is 43%, which is twice what was observed among men; it was reported that the use of hand-rolled cigarettes by females was 10%.

• The average duration of smoking traditional products in the age group (18-69 years) was about 17 years; among the age group (45-69 years), smoking duration was 35 years . In addition, the average age at which men started smoking was much younger than women; men started smoking at 17 while women did not start until 24; 34.7% of smokers indicated that they had started smoking before the age of 163  

• The ‘Economics of Smoking in Jordan’ policy paper published by the Jordanian Economic Forum in 2024 stated the following:

• Jordan’s imports of electronic cigarettes in 2022 amounted to about JD 1.4 million according to data from the Department of General Statistics.

• The use of tobacco and electronic cigarettes causes major non-communicable diseases with a considerable high risk to the Jordanian society and thus constituting a challenge that threatens public health throughout the country. Smoking causes the death of more than (9,000) Jordanian individuals per year; according to estimates by the Ministry of Health, (56%) of these cases are deaths of individuals under the age of seventy.

Although the tobacco industry is a big contributor to the national economy, according to data from the Department of General Statistics and the Ministry of Finance for the year 2015, it was found that the volume of economic activity resulting from the tobacco industry in Jordan amounts to about half of the total economic burden that smoking imposes on Jordanians, as the tobacco industry generates about (889)



3Ministry of Health 2020 National step-by-step survey (STEPs) to monitor risk factors associated with non-communicable diseases 2019

million Jordanian dinars of economic activity each year including direct payments from industry for work permits and licenses, payments for inputs and services, payments to industry employees, income tax, and government tax revenues.

The total annual economic loss from current levels of tobacco use in Jordan amounts to JD1.6 billion, equivalent to (6%) of the GDP in 2015, compared to (1.8%) the average total global cost in relation to the global GDP and in total (1.85) trillion US dollars.

• The report issued by the Jordanian Strategy Forum ‘Global Tobacco Index 2021: Where does Jordan stand in its battle towards combatting the carcinogenic epidemic’ stated that the annual economic losses resulting from early deaths caused by tobacco consumption amounted to about JD 399 million. The report also stated that about JD 204.4 million on health care expenses are caused by smoking4[2].

The National Strategy to combat tobacco and smoking in all its forms 2024-2030 acknowledges that the current trends in tobacco use in Jordan and worldwide are not compatible with sustainable development. Through Sustainable Development Goal No. 3.4 related to health, the 2030 Agenda requires that member states achieve a reduction in early deaths caused by non-communicable diseases (i.e. deaths between the ages 35 and 69) by one third by the year 2030. The agenda also stipulates accelerating progress in combating non-communicable diseases and effective implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and Goal 3a of the Sustainable Development Goals. Tobacco control is not only an essential way to improve the health of the population, but it is also an effective way to reduce poverty and inequality (Goals 1 and 10 of the SDGs respectively), develop the economy (Goal 8 of the SDGs), address environmental issues (SDG Goals 13 and 15 of the SDGs), and call for the advancement of sustainable development.

The strategy explained that the low and declining socioeconomic status is significantly linked to a high prevalence of smoking in Jordan. Comprehensive studies for many sectors of tobacco smokers derived from household income from inquiry surveys show that two fifths of the lowest income of the Jordanian population are approximately more likely to smoke cigarettes compared to the one fifth highest income. The poorest of smokers spend 25 times more on cigarettes than on health, 10 times more on cigarettes than on education, and 1.5 times more on cigarettes than on food. It is foreseen that increasing taxes on tobacco to increase the price of tobacco products is likely to be the most powerful strategy for rapidly reducing tobacco use, especially among the poor and the young. The average monthly expenditure on manufactured cigarettes is JD 60.3 which is more than 23% of the legal mandatory minimum monthly wage in Jordan6.

When taking into account the average annual expenditure of Jordanian families on groceries/ goods and services by governorate, it can be seen that in certain governorates in Jordan the household spending on tobacco and cigarette products exceeds their spending on meat and poultry, as in Balqa, Zarqa, and Mafraq. This indicates the extent of reliance on purchasing tobacco products in those areas compared to meat and poultry as part of the spending pattern in those families7.


[1]Economics of Smoking in Jordan’ policy paper. The Jordanian Economic Forum


5Ministry of Health, Directorate of non-communicable diseases/ National Cancer Registry, Annual report of recorded cancer cases in Jordan 2019